- Common Name(s):
- Swamp milkweed
- Herbs, Native Plants, Poisonous Plants, Wildflowers
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.
Regions: Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plains
Seasons of Interest:
Blooms: Late Summer Nut/Fruit/Seed: Fall
Wildlife Value: This plant is highly resistant to damage from deer. It is a host plant for the Monarch butterfly. Its flowers are attractive to butterflies and other insects.
- Early to late summer
- Sun, part shade
- 2-5 ft.
- USDA Hardiness Zone 3-6
- 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.
- Swamp milkweed has 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. The flowers are uncommonly white.
- Swamp milkweed is easily grown in medium to wet soils in full sun. It is surprisingly tolerant of average well-drained soils in cultivation even though the species is native to swamps and wet meadows. The plants have deep taproots and are best left undisturbed once established. The foliage is slow to emerge in spring.
- Poison Part:
- All parts
- Poison Delivery Mode:
- Vomiting, stupor, weakness, spasms
- Toxic Principle:
- Cardiac glycosides and resinoids
- TOXIC ONLY IF LARGE QUANTITIES EATEN.
- Found in:
- Weedy in disturbed areas, native or naturalized in waste places, roadsides, fields; landscape in flower gardens as herbaceous perennials
- Life Cycle:
NCCES plant id: 2485