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Swamp Milkweed

Asclepias incarnata

Early blooming milkweed; monarch caterpillars consume the foliage; Dried bouquets are made from the stems.



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Asclepias incarnata, commonly known as Swamp Milkweed, Rose Milkweed or Marsh Milkweed is a native perennial forb (wildflower) typically found in swamps, river bottomlands and wet meadows.

Wildlife notes

Many nectar-seeking pollinators visit Swamp Milkweed flowers including bumblebees, honeybees, native bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, and hummingbirds. A variety of insects consume the leaves and other plant parts. This includes the well-known Monarch butterfly caterpillar. Mammals dislike it due to its cardiac glycosides which are bitter and toxic. However, deer and rabbits will eat the young shoots and leaves while muskrats and other wetland mammals will consume the roots.

Forage notes

Livestock typically avoid Milkweeds due to their bitter taste.

Landscaping notes

Easily grown in medium to wet soils in full sun. Surprisingly 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.

Restoration notes

Habitats include open to partially shaded areas in floodplain forests, swamps, thickets, moist black soil prairies, low areas along rivers and ponds, seeps and fens, marshes, and drainage ditches. Swamp Milkweed can be found in both high quality and degraded habitats.

Videos and Articles About This Plant

To learn more about this plant, check out our videos and articles about it and its uses.

Pollinators & Swamp Milkweed

Are Milkweeds Enough for Monarchs?


Additional information

Weight N/A

Packet, Ounce, Pound


Full Sun to Part Shade

Seeding Rate

6 bulk lbs/acre


Average, Moist



Bloom Month

Aug, Sep



Specialty Uses

Butterfly, Edible, Medicinal

# seeds/pkt


Packet coverage area

5 sq. ft

Life Cycle


What is PLS?

Pure Live Seed (PLS) is the portion of good viable seed per pound. It is a measure of the seed that is alive and able to sprout into plants. This product is sold by PLS ounce/pound. To provide one ounce/pound of viable seed, you will receive more than one ounce/pound of product. Read more about PLS here.