Swamp milkweed

Swamp Milkweed

Scientific Name

Asclepias incarnata

Order

Gentianales

Family

Apocynaceae

Type

Perennial

Endangered Status

Least concern

Number of Recorded Individuals at the Zoo

508

Swamp milkweed

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Physical Description

Swamp milkweed is a medium-height perennial with light pink umbel flowers that bloom in mid to late summer; lance-shaped foliage; and milky white sap within its stems. This full-sun plant prefers to grow in moist to wet soils, so it works well for wet spots along a sunny boarder or rain gardens and is the only milkweed species that prefers wetlands over prairies. This plant grows horizontal rhizomatous roots that can form connected plant colonies. Milkweed is a preferred larval host for monarch butterflies and a source of nectar for birds and many insects.

Native Range

Eastern North America

USDA Hardiness Zone

3–9

Average Mature Height

4 feet

Flower Color

Pink

Flowering Months

July–September

Supports

Butterflies and birds

Yellow flowers

Second Saturday Garden Tours

Join fellow nature lovers for a free, guided tour of Lincoln Park Zoo’s diverse plant life and ecosystems. During each tour, a zoo horticulturist will point out interesting species in bloom, answer questions from guests, and discuss the horticulture program’s past, present, and future.

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An Accredited Arboretum

In 2019, Lincoln Park Zoo earned Level II arboretum accreditation in recognition of the Horticulture staff’s ongoing effort to identify, label, and monitor the more than 330 species of trees, shrubs, and woody plants represented across the 49-acre park.