Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) Unity Grown
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Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) is a native, upright, perennial wildflower widely known as an important food source for the larval stages of monarch (Danaus plexippus) and queen (Danaus gilippus) butterflies. Growing up to between four and five feet tall, Asclepias incarnata is easily identified by the toxic milky sap that is produced from damaged tissues, as well as its showy pink-purple flowers, which bloom from mid summer into the fall, when flowers turn to large, interesting looking seed pods. The plant's toxic sap also makes it resistant to herbivore foraging, and its large blooms are fragrant, adding further appeal to the home garden.
Swamp milkweed, as the name implies, thrives in rich, wetter soil moisture conditions, and does best in full sun, and is therefore an excellent addition to any location near water as well as rain gardens. With its obvious value to butterflies, and its less obvious value to hummingbirds and bees, Asclepias incarnata is additionally a great choice for pollinator gardens, wetter meadows, and wetland restoration projects.