Asclepias incarnata (Swamp milkweed)
Swamp milkweed Description:
Asclepias incarnata, commonly known as Swamp milkweed or Pink milkweed, is a herbaceous perennial plant that belongs to the milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae). It is native to North America and can be found in wetlands, along riverbanks, and in other damp areas in the eastern and central regions of the United States and Canada.
Swamp milkweed can grow up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall and has a clumping habit. The stems are erect and unbranched, with leaves that are narrow and lance-shaped, reaching 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) in length. The leaves are arranged oppositely along the stem and are smooth, dark green, and have pointed tips.
The plant produces clusters of small, pink to mauve, five-petaled flowers that are arranged in terminal inflorescences, or clusters of flowers, that bloom from mid to late summer. The flowers are attractive to many species of butterflies, particularly the Monarch butterfly, which uses the plant as a host for its eggs and as a food source for its larvae.
Swamp milkweed is an important plant for wildlife, providing nectar for butterflies and other pollinators, and serving as a food source for the larvae of many species of moths and butterflies. The plant is also a popular garden plant, used in butterfly gardens and naturalized areas, as well as in rain gardens and other wetland restoration projects.
Swamp milkweed is most commonly found in the Midwestern United States Eastward to the Northeastern United states. That said, it is still found as far west as Idaho, as far south as Texas and Florida, and along the entire East coast.
Standard Plant Information:
Plant Height: 1' - 4'
Bloom Time: June - September
Preferred Habitat: Does well in full sun in wet fields, swamps, and along shorelines.