This sprouted in the unmowed area of our front yard, and has been making a welcome return every year since.
Beautiful orange milkweed, aka butterfly weed......keep your eyes open for monarchs!
Found it very easy from seed, and now have it in several shades, but not all I want. Will try again. And a national campaign should exist, where interested gardeners will raise it and plant it as food for the Monarch, that has seen serious decline, lately. A single clump has grown and bloomed, untended, at the edge of my tiny rock garden for over ten years, while I fuss about the other plants there. It came by itself. While I don't appreciate insect damage, I would not bother the Monarch Caterpillar, and I even allowed a disgusting infestation, on one plant, of the Milkweed Bug, that has the most extreme brilliant orange and black coloring.
Many are unaware that the plant is a notorious one for showing up very late in Spring, and is extremely difficult to move, because of a sturdy tap root.
That is really a very beautiful photo. I love how the grass adds such a nice visual contrast to the plant itself. I'm so used to seeing butterfly weed in rather stark, dry environments. This is so lush.
There are multiple national campaigns to increase the number and varieties of milkweeds growing. If you google Monarch conservation or preservation, or pollinator conservation, you'll find lots of activities going on. We had a great project here on GardenWeb to connect new milkweed growers with veterans who could share seed and growing information. I think it was "Adopt a Milkweed Newbie" or something close. This year we're already encouraging established gardeners to begin collecting seed from host plants and nectar plants in preparation for another seed-sharing effort to help expand and create as many butterfly-friendly gardens as possible. We even had some media involvement in a large Monarch release that one member of GardenWeb staged. Monarch Watch is an organization based at the University of Kansas that grows and sells/distributes milkweed seedlings across the country. They accept donations of money or milkweed seeds, and grow milkweeds from seeds collected from specific geographic regions to redistribute back to those same areas.
Anyway, there's lots going on and we all try to do our part both in our gardens and in education those around us.