Close up of pink and white asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed) blooms.
Monarch butterfly on a swamp milkweed bloom.

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.

Native to Maryland, Native to U.S., Straight Species, and Native to Eastern Shore
Mature Plant Height: Medium: 30-48"
Deciduous
Sun (6+ hours)
Soil Moisture: Medium to Wet and Wet
Soil Type: Rich Organic Matter and Wide Tolerance
Bloom Time: Summer
Flower Color: Pink
Foliage color: Green
Features: Attracts Butterflies, Attracts Pollinators, Host Plant for Butterflies or Moths, Attracts Hummingbirds, Fragrant, and Fall Color
Tolerances: Deer Tolerant, Rabbit Tolerant, Clay Soil Tolerant, Wet Soil Tolerant, Salt Tolerant, and Drought Tolerant
Garden Type: Pollinator Garden, Rain Garden, Meadow, and Wetland Restoration

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