Friday, July 28, 2017

Plant Spotlight: Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Asclepias incarnate. Swamp milkweed can be used in rain gardens and stormwater gardens to filter pollutants and support monarch butterfly habitats. Photo by myiarchus22, CC BY-NC-2.0

Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is a native, perennial and toxic pink wildflower plant found in swamps, shores, thickets; marshes, moist meadows. Asclepias is the milkweed family of wildflowers essential as a monarch butterfly food source. The swamp (incarnata) variety of milkweed can be grown in urban rain gardens and other residential areas prone to poor drainage.
Erect, perennial herbs with milky juice; leaves simple, alternate, opposite, or whorled, narrow; flowers 5-parted, in rounded clusters, white, greenish, yellow, orange, or red; fruit dry and inflated, erect, and with many hair-tufted seeds
Growing Season:
Early to late summer
2-4 ft.
Up to 4-inch, opposite, narrow, lance-shaped, smooth leaves; milky sap is less juice than most species; short-stalked to stalkless
1-to 2-in., dull pink flowers, clustered at the top of a tall, branching stem; five recurved petals; elevated central crown, divided
Weedy in disturbed areas, native or naturalized in waste places, roadsides, fields; landscape in flower gardens as herbaceous perennials
All parts of this plant are poisonous if ingested. Symptoms include vomiting, stupor, weakness, spasms. The toxic principle is cardiac glycosides and resinoids. TOXIC ONLY IF LARGE QUANTITIES EATEN.

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