Swamp Milkweed

Swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata (Pink) and Asclepias perennis (White) is an herbaceous perennial in the Apocynaceae (dogbane) family. Apocynum is the Greek term for “dog-away”. It is native to the central and eastern United States and tends to grow in wet sites along streams, ponds, or bogs.

Native (Swamp)  vs Tropical Milkweed

Tropical milkweed is nonnative to the United States,  It does not die back in the southern U.S..   This may encourage monarchs to stop short of their full migration. Tropical milkweed types also host a parasite that infects and harms monarchs. Therefore, growers across the US encourage the use of Swamp Milkweed instead of Tropical.

Planting & Growing

Plant swamp milkweed in full sun to partial shade in soils with neutral to acidic pH. It is native to wet sites but adapts to drier sites in moist clay or loam soils.

The attractive pink to rose-purple flowers mature in mid-spring and last into early fall. The seed pods split open to release seeds that float on the wind. Milkweed is an important food source for Monarch butterfly caterpillars and the flowers are visited by many pollinators.

Use as an accent or border in a meadow, native, or pollinator garden. It will be at home in a naturalized area or along a pond or stream where it can grow up to 5 feet tall and spread 2 to 3 feet wide.