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Asclepias incarnata

Common Name(s):

This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Asclepias incarnata, commonly called swamp milkweed, is an erect, clump-forming, native plant which is commonly found in swamps, river bottomlands, and wet meadows. It typically grows 3-4' tall (less frequently to 5') on branching stems. 

Flowers are followed by attractive seed pods (to 4" long) which split open when ripe releasing silky-haired seeds easily carried by the wind.

In addition, swamp milkweed is an important food source (albeit somewhat less important than upland species of Asclepias) for the larval stage of Monarch butterflies.

Fire Risk: This plant has medium flammability rating. Consider plants with a low flammability rating for the sites nearest your home.

Cultivars:
Tags:
#native#fragrant#butterflies#pink#pollinators#summer#showy#riparian#wetlands#fire#medium flammability
Cultivars:
Tags:
#native#fragrant#butterflies#pink#pollinators#summer#showy#riparian#wetlands#fire#medium flammability
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Asclepias
    Species:
    incarnata
    Family:
    Apocynaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Distribution:
    Northeastern and southeastern United States
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Host plant for the Monarch butterfly. Its flowers are attractive to butterflies and other insects.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer, Clay Soil, Wet Soil
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Cream/Tan
    White
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Good Dried
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Follicle
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    attractive follicle seed pods (to 4" long) which split open when ripe releasing silky-haired seeds easily carried by the wind
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Crown
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    small, fragrant, pink to mauve flowers (1/4" wide), each with five reflexed petals and an elevated central crown, that appear in tight clusters (umbels) at the stem ends in summer
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Swamp milkweed has narrow, opposite, smooth, lance-shaped, taper-pointed leaves that are 3-6" long. The stems exude a toxic milky sap when cut.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Polished
    Stem Description:
    Stems exude a toxic milky sap when cut.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Meadow
    Near Septic
    Pool/Hardscape
    Riparian
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Poor Soil
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous
  • Poison:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Vomiting, stupor, weakness, spasms
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Cardiac glycosides and resinoids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Seeds
    Stems