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(Asclepias incarnata)
Swamp Milkweed

Host Plant: Monarch and Queen butterflies

Nectar Plant: many insects

Flower Color: Pink to almost white

Growth Habit: Herbaceous perennial plant that grows to 2-6 feet tall

Range in North America: Most of North America except very west and northwest

Exposure: Full sun to partial sun

Hardiness: Zones 3-8

Soil Requirements: moist soil

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Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Pink flower cluster of swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata).
Pink Flowers of Swamp Miilkweed — Cbaile19, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Alternative Names

Pink Milkweed

Description of Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), a member of the Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family), is a herbaceous perennial that has pink and whitish flowers that bloom in the late spring through to the fall.  The leaves have a toxic milky sap that makes the Monarch butterfly distasteful to predators.  More information about Swamp Milkweed can be found on this blog post.

Hosted Species

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on goldenrod.
Monarch Butterfly on goldenrod — ALAN SCHMIERER from southeast AZ, USA, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus)

Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus) on a branch.
Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus) –Korall, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nectar Species

This species is a nectar species for other butterflies, bees, and wasps.

Range of Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) in the United States and Canada

Range map of swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) in the United States and Canada.


Swamp milkweed grows in open wetlands such as wet meadows, swamps, and marshland.  It is native to most of North America except for the west coast.

Interesting Facts

The genus name, Asclepias, is the Greek name for the God of Medicine.  The species name, incarnata, is the Latin name for “flesh-colored.”

Native Location

New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8

Exposure Requirements

Full Sun, Part Shade/Part Sun

Plant Habit


Soil Requirements


Hosted Species

Danaus gilippus (Queen), Danaus plexippus (Monarch)


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Swamp Milkweed”

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