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TROPICAL PLANT CATALOG Printer friendly page  

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Asclepias incarnata, Swamp Milkweed, Rose Milkweed, Swamp Silkweed

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Asclepias incarnata Cinderella
 Asclepias incarnata
Family: Apocynaceae   (Formerly:Asclepiadaceae)
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Swamp Milkweed, Rose Milkweed, Swamp Silkweed
Origin: North America
Small shrub 2-5 ftFull sunBog or aquaticKeep soil moistRegular waterModerate waterPink flowersIrritatingAttracts butterflies, hummingbirdsSubtropical, cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

This pretty flower is an erect, clump-forming, Missouri native plant which is commonly found in swamps, river bottomlands and wet meadows throughout the State. It typically grows 3-4' tall on branching stems. Small, fragrant, pink to mauve flowers (1/4" wide), each with five reflexed petals and an elevated central crown, appear in tight clusters (umbels) at the stem ends in summer.

Flowers are followed by attractive seed pods (to 4" long) which split open when ripe releasing silky-haired seeds easily carried by the wind. Flowers are very attractive to butterflies as a nectar source. In addition, swamp milkweed is an important food source (albeit somewhat less important than upland species of Asclepias) for the larval stage of Monarch butterflies.

Genus name honors the Greek god Asklepios the god of medicine. Specific epithet means flesh-colored.

Easily grown in full sun. Tolerant of average well-drained soils in cultivation even though the species is native to swamps and wet meadows. Plants have deep taproots and are best left undisturbed once established. Foliage is slow to emerge in spring.

Sunny borders, stream/pond banks, butterfly gardens. A good plant for low spots or other moist areas in the landscape.

Stems exude a toxic milky sap when cut.


Similar plants:

 Asclepias incarnata, Swamp Milkweed, Rose Milkweed, Swamp Silkweed

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