ASCLEPIAS incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) is a species of milkweed native to North America. It is a herbaceous perennial plant that can grow up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall. The leaves are long and narrow, measuring up to 8 inches (20 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. They are a dark green color and have a smooth texture.
Swamp Milkweed will produce clusters of beautiful flowers consisting of gradients of Red, pink and white. Wet meadows or rain gardens offer ideal conditions. Swamp milkweed thrives in moist, medium to wet clay soil. The plant can do well in average garden soil if it does not dry out. Female monarchs will lay eggs on all nine milkweed species, but they prefer some over others. Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) and common milkweed (A. syriaca) averaged the highest number of eggs.
The flowers of Swamp Milkweed are pink to mauve in color and grow in clusters at the top of the stems. They are shaped like a shallow bowl and have five petals that curve backwards. The flowers bloom from mid-summer to early fall and are an important nectar source for many species of butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.
After the flowers have bloomed, Swamp Milkweed produces long, narrow seed pods that can grow up to 5 inches (12 cm) long. The pods are covered in a smooth surface and are filled with numerous flat, brown seeds that are attached to a silky, white fluff. When the pods mature, they split open to release the seeds, which are dispersed by the wind.
Swamp Milkweed is adapted to wet soil and can tolerate a range of moisture conditions from wet to dry. It is often found in wetlands, along streams, and in other damp areas. It is a popular plant in gardens and natural areas because of its attractive flowers and its role in supporting pollinators. It is also an important host plant for the monarch butterfly, which lays its eggs on the leaves. The larvae then feed on the leaves before pupating and emerging as adult butterflies. Swamp Milkweed is a great addition to rain gardens or other areas with consistently moist soil.
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Scientific Name: Asclepias Incarnata
Common Name: Swamp Milkweed
Plant Type: Perennials
Native Range: United States, Mexico
Full Growth Height: 120-150 cm
Width in Across: 60-90 cm
Exposure: Full Sun
Blooming Season: Summer
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Pollinators: Water, Sun, Wind
Flower Color: Light Pink, Light Purple, Reddish
Tolerate: Clay Soil, Wet Soil, Deer
Water Requirement: Average, High
Soil Type: Clay, Loam
Uses: Garden Beds and Border, Ponds and Streams, Medicine, Food, etc.