Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed) is an erect, herbaceous perennial, growing up to 4 ft. tall. Swamp milkweed tolerates seasonal inundation*, and is a good plant for low spots or other moist areas in the landscape. It requires full sun to full sun/partial shade. Small, fragrant, pink flowers grow in tight clusters (called umbels) at the stem ends from June through September. Seed pods form when the flowers die off in late summer. The pods contain dozens of milkweed seeds, attached to silky floss. When the pods split open, the seeds are carried by the wind. EC collects seeds from hundreds of milkweed pods just before the pods burst open. The seeds are separate from the floss, and cold stratified until they are sowed in early spring. The swamp milkweed is a host plant for the 'Near Threatened' Monarch butterfly (danaus plexippus). Monarchs lay their eggs only on the swamp milkweed leaves, and the monarch caterpillar feeds only on the milkweed leaves. EC founded the Mid-Atlantic Monarch Initiative in 2018 in response to the drastic decline of the Monarch butterfly.
- Available forms: 2" plugs, quarts and gallons
- Water tolerance: seasonal inundation
- Seasonal Tolerance: 0 - 5 ppt
- Wetland Indicator Status: OBL
- Light: full sun to partial sun/shade
- Height; up to 6 ft.
- Aeiral Spread: slow spread
- Blooms: pale pink flowers in umbels June through August
- Foliage: green; long and narrow and taper off to a point
- Wildlife Value: nectar source for butterflies and beneficial insects
*Duration of inundation of saturation that plants may tolerate: Seasonal - tolerates inundation or saturation from 13-25% of the growing season.
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