Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) grows with ease in wet gardens since it normally grows in wet meadows, river bottoms, and swamps throughout the US. Clusters of small mauve-pink flowers bloom in the summer, each filled with pollen and rich nectar for pollinators. These flowers stand above long, lance-shaped leaves that are incredibly important for caterpillars!
Milkweeds, including 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: 4-6' tall x 2-3' wide
Light: full sun (6+ hrs/day)
Water: Average moisture
Hardiness: USDA zone 3-6 (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
Pot size: one quart
Plant name: Asclepias incarnata