General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 24 - 48 inches
Plant Spread: 18 - 24 inches
Leaves: Other: Plants have a cluster of fleshy roots radiating outwards and are best left undisturbed once established. Foliage is slow to emerge in spring. It typically grows 3-4' tall (less frequently to 5') on branching stems. Stems exude a toxic milky sap when cut.
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Mauve
Other: reflexed pink petals under/surrounding whitish hoods
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Rhizome
Suitable Locations: Bog gardening
Uses: Water gardens
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Flood Resistant
Humidity tolerant
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Roots are poisonous
Other: Bitter tasting
Propagation: Seeds: Provide light
Self fertile
Stratify seeds: Needs 1 month cold moist treatment.
Suitable for wintersowing
Can handle transplanting
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Pollinators: Wasps
Moths and Butterflies
Containers: Not suitable for containers

Common names
  • Swamp Milkweed
  • Pink Milkweed
  • Rose Milkweed
  • Red Milkweed
  • Swamp Silkweed
  • White Indian Hemp
  • Milkweed

Photo Gallery
Location: 6b / Winchester KY
Date: 2023-06-24
Location: Brownstown PA 17508
Date: 2020-06-22
Excellent pollinators and strong, male Carpenter Bees(white spot
Location: Brownstown PA 17508
Date: 2020-06-22
Healthy bog garden plant w/Large Milkweed Bug
Uploaded by Chantell
Location: IL
Date: 2016-07-03
#Pollination Great Black Wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus) on Swamp Milk
Location: Indiana  Zone 5
Date: July
Location: Lancaster PA 
Date: Summer 2023
Location: IL
Date: 2016-07-01
#Pollination Squash Vine Borer (Melittia cucurbitae) Moth
Location: My garden in Cortland, OH
Date: 2023-06-23
Location: Fairfax, VA | April, 2022
Date: 2022-07-06
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2010-08-13
Location: Northeastern Indiana - Zone 5b
Date: 2010-07-08
Location: Maryland
Date: 2015-08-03
Location: Brownstown PA 17508
Date: 2020-06-12
Location: Apple Valley MN
Date: 15 September 2020
Location: Apple Valley MN
Date: 10 September 2020
Location: Kentucky
Date: 2022-07-13

Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
Location: Indiana  Zone 5
Date: August
Uploaded by purpleinopp
Location: Brownstown Pennsylvania
Date: 2016-06-30

Date: July
photo by Derek Ramsey.
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Date: 2015-07-03
Location: IL
Date: 2009-07-24
Location: Brownstown Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-08-22
I actually grew this in a container for three years before transp
Location: Lititz PA
Date: 2017-07-25
Location: Lititz PA
Date: 2017-07-27
Location: Brownstown Pennsylvania
Date: 2017-06-23

Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
Uploaded by Newyorkrita
Location: Eagle Bay, New York
Date: 2022-08-23
Daddy Long-legs aka 'harvestman' on milkweed - red dot is parasit
Location: My yard in Arlington, Texas.
Date: 2014-07-30
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2010-08-06
Uploaded by threegardeners
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2014-09-27
Uploaded by sedumzz
Uploaded by ajaburkhead
Location: My Gardens
Date: Oct. 12, 2014
Dried Pods Releasing Seeds
Location: central Illinois
Date: 8-19-12
#pollination    BFs and Bees

Date: 2018-08-29
Location: My zone 5 garden.
Date: 2017-07-26
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA, Zone 6b
Date: 2023-07-31
Location: Pinconning, MI
Date: 2017-07-24
Location: Apple Valley MN
Date: 2017-07-23
Location: Fairfax, VA | August 2022
Date: 2022-08-13
Location: Charleston, SC
Date: 2018-08-26
plant is about 5' tall...
Location: Lititz PA
Date: 2017-07-25

Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield

Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
Location: central Illinois
Date: 8-21-11
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2011-08-21
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2011-08-21
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA, Zone 6b
Date: 2023-07-31
With two Monarch butterfly eggs on leaves
Location: Pinconning, MI
Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Date: 2020-05-13
New growth emerging from the taproot of a Swamp Milkweed planted

Date: 2018-08-29
Uploaded by sedumzz

Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA, Zone 6b
Date: 2023-07-31
With a Monarch butterfly egg on leaf
Location: Pinconning, MI
Date: 2017-07-24

Courtesy Outsidepride
  • Uploaded by vic
Location: SK, Canada
Date: 2023-07-16
Tall plant; drops its lower leaves later in summer so it is best

Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery. Used with Permission
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-06-19
Location: Yard, near Central Iowa
Date: 2015-06-30
Perfectly perpendicular leaves
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2014-09-27
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5b
Date: 2012-07-31
Location: Brownstown Pennsylvania
Date: 2016-06-18
Location: Apple Valley MN
Date: 2018-06-12
Swamp Milkweed budding out.
Location: Fairfax, VA | August 2022
Date: 2022-08-13
Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Date: 2020-06-28
A new leaf and a new bud from a Swamp Milkweed planted new this s
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2017-08-05
Monarch on flowers at pond
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2017-08-05
wild patch on edge of pond
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-07-03
one forb planted in foundation planting
Location: Lucketts, Loudoun County, Virginia
Date: 2014-08-08
Wild in local roadside ditch
Location: Winter Springs, FL zone 9b
Date: 2016-07-11

Date: 2018-08-29

Courtesy Crownsville Nursery
  • Uploaded by vic
Location: Lilburn, GA
Date: 2020-06-18

Date: 2011-11-02
dried seedpods
Location: Skokie
Date: 2018-05-09
New life!
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2014-09-28
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5b
Date: 2012-07-29
Location: Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Date: July
credit: Magnus Manske

Recently planted, young plant

Date: 2016-08-24
Photo courtesy of Santa Rosa Gardens. Used with permission.
Location: Columbus, OH
Date: 6-8-2002

Small Milkweed plants in spring.
Uploaded by purpleinopp

Oleander aphids at top. Plant looks blurry due to movement while
Uploaded by sedumzz
Uploaded by sedumzz
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2012-08-20
Location: Skaneateles Conservation Area
photo credit: R. A. Nonenmacher
Uploaded by Hamwild

Date: 2016-05-14

Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield

Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
Uploaded by purpleinopp
Location: South Carolina
Date: May

Date: 2011-11-02
dried seedpods

Photo Courtesy of Lazy S'S Farm Nursery.
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: central Illinois
Date: 8-21-11
This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by Catmint20906 (PNW WA half hour south of Olympia - Zone 8a) on Aug 8, 2014 2:38 PM concerning plant:
    Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is a larval host plant for the Monarch and Queen butterflies, and is a Monarch Way Station plant.

    This plant has special value to native, bumble, and honey bees, including yellowfaced, sweat, green sweat, small resin, and leafcutter bees.

    Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) also supports conservation biological control by attracting beneficial insects which consume a variety of common garden pests.
  • Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Feb 25, 2015 7:28 PM concerning plant:
    Native to every state in the U.S., except California, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, and Mississippi. Also native to Ontario, Manitoba, and Quebec provinces in Canada.
    This is not an aggressively spreading milkweed. It blooms later than many milkweeds, which makes it a great candidate for extending the milkweed season.
    This is both a nectar plant as well as host plant for the endangered Monarch butterfly, so it feeds the caterpillars as well as the adults.
    Milkweeds are fantastic for the monarch butterfly population.
    This is a milkweed that likes moisture, and the leaves are thin and will tend to dry out rather quickly if they are picked to feed Monarch caterpillars if you are trying to raise them.
    This also attracts many other butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and moths.
  • Posted by Chillybean (Iowa - Zone 5a) on Jul 30, 2015 12:38 PM concerning plant:
    The Swamp Milkweed was one of my first native plants; put in a wet spot in our yard in spring 2012 as seedlings. Later that summer it was covered in the non-native Oleander Aphids. To my surprise, they came up the next spring and even bloomed, but that was the last I saw of them.

    What a surprise! In a drier area of our yard, some came up this spring (2015). I sowed seeds in that patch in 2013 and they must've taken that long to germinate. There are three plants and they all have flowers! Monarch eggs have already been laid and the larvae are consuming this. So far, no sign of the aphids, but I check the plants regularly.
  • Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 15, 2012 4:43 PM concerning plant:
    Pink Swamp Milkweed looks a lot like Butterfly Weed except that the mid-summer flowers are rosy-pink and plants have a succulent texture. Growing about 3 feet tall, this perennial needs full sun and can take, but does not require, boggy conditions. It is a butterfly magnet.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Mar 4, 2018 6:31 PM concerning plant:
    This is a nice, easy, reliable perennial that I have seen wild in many wet meadows and marshes around southeast Pennsylvania and as a garden plant that is sold by conventional and native plant nurseries. It does well in sunny sites with average, mesic soil, even though in nature it is pushed by completion into wet areas. It does self sow some, but not horribly so. It is bothered most years later in summer by the introduced insect pest of the orange Oleander Aphid that does not kill it but makes it suffer and not look as good. This is a fantastic pollinator plant, especially for butterflies.
  • Posted by jmorth (central Illinois) on Nov 6, 2011 11:51 AM concerning plant:
    Habitat preferred - low, wet areas in prairies, borders of marshes, ponds, and ditches. Monarchs really love them.
    Interesting seeds and seedpods.
Plant Events from our members
SCButtercup On June 4, 2014 Bloomed
flaflwrgrl On March 27, 2015 Seeds sown
Direct sown.
Catmint20906 On July 27, 2015 Bloomed
lovesblooms On April 1, 2015 Obtained plant
planted 2x
christine2 On April 14, 2017 Obtained plant
bzrhart On May 7, 2017 Obtained plant
MunchkinsMom On October 17, 2016 Obtained plant
Dogwood eBay 2 1/2" pot Dormant $1.75 About 3" tall
Anndixon On May 15, 2018 Obtained plant
jhugart On May 22, 2020 Obtained plant
Acquired second plant at Mother Earth Gardens in northeast Minneapolis.
jhugart On May 22, 2020 Transplanted
Put second Swamp Milkweed plant in the ground, Southern Exposure section, near the first.
jhugart On May 13, 2020 Plant emerged
Noticed new growth at the base of the plant today. Shoots with leaves emerging from the taproot.
dnrevel On April 27, 2024 Transplanted
Planted in the late evening (before travel) in the front north native plants border by the peach tree. Lots of good, healthy seedlings. Will attach a photo soon.
dnrevel On January 14, 2024 Seeds sown
Winter Sowed at Matthaei as part of Seeds to Community. Looking forward to seeing how they do!
dnrevel On February 4, 2022 Seeds sown
Winter sown in red Solo cups.
paleohunter On June 20, 2022 Seeds sown
Flowerlover6 On October 19, 2022 Seeds sown
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Asclepias incarnata by virginiarose Nov 4, 2013 11:25 AM 1
Information missing from your web site by Nymphaea Jan 26, 2016 4:01 PM 1

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