Swamp Milkweed – Asclepias incarnata

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Want to add easy-to-grow native plants that benefit local birds, bees, butterflies and other biodiversity to your garden?

Check out our Halton Pollinator Plant Profile series:

Swamp Milkweed – Asclepias incarnata

A Halton Pollinator Plant Profile

Swamp milkweed is a clump-forming perennial in the milkweed family.

Habitat preferences:

Part to full sun

Tolerates a variety of soils, including clay

Moderate to wet

Height: 4-5ft

Spread: 2-3ft

Flowers: Large clusters of small, light pink to magenta flowers bloom in June-July

Fruit: Pods turn brown and split open when ripe (autumn), revealing brown seeds that are attached to white ‘fluff’ which allows them be dispersed by the wind

Leaves: Opposite, lance-shaped leaves with smooth margins

Value to Pollinators: Larval host plant for the Monarch butterfly. Provides nectar for bees, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds and other pollinators.

Fun Fact:
By consuming milkweed, monarch caterpillars incorporate its toxins into their bodies, making them poisonous to birds.

Gardening Tip:

Swamp milkweed is very tall – plant it against a fence, at the back of a perennial bed, or among other tall flowering plants or native grasses for support!