Asclepias incarnata L. - Swamp Milkweed


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Asclepias incarnata - (image 1 of 5)



Family: Asclepiadaceae


Marshes, open swamps, ditches, bogs, and fens




Nova Scotia west to Saskatchewan and UT, south FL to NM.


Herbaceous perennial to 1.5 m. Leaves on short petioles, opposite, rounded at base, narrowly ovate to lanceolate, glabrous. Flowers pink to deep purple; reflexed corolla lobes less than 5 mm long.


Flowers June to September

Wetland Indicator: Obligate

Host to the larvae of monarch butterflies, as are many members of this genus. Contains cardiac glycosides but the sap is very bitter and therefore unlikely to be ingested. The root is reported to be strongly laxative.


Foster, S. and R.A. Caras. 1994. A Field Guide to Venomous Animals and Poisonous Plants: North America North of Mexico.

Houghton Mifflin Company. New York, NY. 244 pp.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




Michael Hough 2004