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Native Plant of the Week: Swamp Milkweed

Family: Apocynaceae

Name: Asclepias incarnata - Swamp Milkweed

Bloom Time: June-July

Flower: Mauve Pink and White bicolor

Soil Condition: Average-Moist-Wet, Tolerates Clay

Light: Sun-Partial Shade

Height: 36-48" tall by 24-36" wide

Native Range: Northeast United States including Long Island

Zone: 3 to 9

Asclepias incarnata, like most Asclepias species, is slow to emerge in the spring so give it time before you count it as a loss. This is a must have pollinator plant as its nectar brings in native bees, wasps and butterflies. Even though the common name is Swamp Milkweed, it's just as happy in average garden soil and even tolerates a tiny bit of drought. The 4" long seed pods are also very showy. If you don't want them to split and go everywhere, put a rubber band on them and collect when they dry and begin to split.

Maintenance: Prone to oleander aphids (these are the orange ones) but these in turn feed ants and other predators. If it bothers you, spray them off with a hose but remember you may be spraying off Monarch butterfly eggs too.

Benefits: nectar source, special value to native bees and wasps, may attract hummingbirds, host plant to Monarch caterpillars, deer and rabbit resistant

Companion Plants: Veronicastrum virginicum - Culver's Root, Heliopsis helianthoides - Ox-eye Daisy, Panicum virgatum - Switchgrass, Carex stricta - Tussock Sedge, Conoclinium coelestinum - Hardy Ageratum, Tradescantia ohiensis - Ohio Spiderwort

pics: KMS Native Plants LLC



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