It's easy to fall in love with 'Cinderella' Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) - just ask the Monarchs! The pale pink buds bloom into vibrant, rose-pink flowers that persist from midsummer to early fall. The flowers are heavily laden with nectar for butterflies, who in turn, disperse their pollen sacs. It grows upright clumps that reach up to four feet tall with handsome narrow leaves.
Milkweeds, including 'Cinderella' Swamp Milkweed, are essential for the Monarch lifecycle. Their relationship includes more than just swapping nectar for pollination. Caterpillars exclusively feed on their leaves, which are filled with cardenolides. Cardenolides are stored in the bodies of Monarch caterpillars and butterflies as a defense against predators. Without Milkweed, we wouldn't have Monarchs!
Plant size: 2-4' tall x 1-3' wide
Light: full sun (6+ hrs/day)
Hardiness: USDA zone 3-9 (Find your hardiness zone)
Pollinator value: attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and is the host plant for Monarchs
Notable features: fragrant, great cut flowers, long-blooming, deer resistant, multiple seasons of interest, low maintenance
Plant name: Asclepias incarnata 'Cinderella'
I love this plant because it provides food for the stressed Monarch butterflies, however, I think they should warn gardeners that this type of milkweed is invasive; spreading by sending underground roots. It is not an especially pretty plant. Because of these two factors, I am happy that I have a large enough yard (well part of it is really a meadow) that I can accommodate such a plant without problem. But if I had a smaller patch, I would not plant milkweed there. True to form, the first year I planted it, I saw monarch caterpillars happily munching away!
Hi Alfred! Thanks for leaving a review. Cinderella Swamp milkweed is actually a native plant (or nativar) that does spread by underground rhizomes, but that does not make it invasive! Invasive plants are non-native and cause ecological damage - which Cinderella Swamp does not! It may become a nuisance for gardeners if left unmonitored, but it is certainly beneficial for pollinators. Hope you enjoy it in your backyard meadow!
My milkweed is doing incredibly well as is everything I've purchased from Great Garden Plants. They are my new go to for happy healthy plants!
I bought 6 plants and they are doing well. I can’t wait to see them bloom next year!!