Plant Detail

Asclepias incarnata

* Common Name:

swamp milkweed, rose milkweed, pink milkweed

* Genus:

Asclepias

* Species:

incarnata

Subspecies:

* Family (scientific):

Asclepiadaceae

* Family (common):

Milkweed

Synonyms :

* Distribution in Canada:

Manitoba
Ontario
Quebec
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
P.E.I.

 

Photographer: Debby Morton.

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Habitat

Ecozone(s):

Atlantic Maritime
Mixedwood Plains
Prairies

Natural Habitat(s):

Wet Meadow/Prairie/Field (less than 25% cover)
Riparian (edge)
Swamp/Marsh (nutrient rich)

Habitat Garden(s):

Pond Edge/Wetland Garden
Pond/Standing Water
Butterfly

Erosion Control?

Characteristics
 
Growing Conditions

* Plant Type:

Wildflower

Moisture Requirements: Moist, Wet

Light Requirements: Sun

Soil Requirements: Clay, Loam

Temperature Zone: 3

Evergreen?

No

Average Height:

30 to 150 cm

Tolerances:

Flower Info
 
Fruit/Seed Info

Showy flowers?

Yes

Showy fruit/seeds?

Yes

Bloom time:

Jun to Aug

Edible for humans?

No

Flower Colour(s):

Purple, Pink

Fruit/Seed Colour(s):

Green

Miscellaneous
 
Uses

Fragrant Flowers?

Yes

Urban Oasis, Stewards in the City, and Eco Superior are specific Evergreen programs that some plants are used in.

Fragrant Foliage?

No

Program & Other Uses:

Eco Superior
Medicinal
Aboriginal

Fall colours?

No

Distinctive bark?

No

Poisonous to humans?

Yes

Thorns or prickles?

No

Attracts wildlife?

Butterflies
Butterfly Larvae
Bees
Other Showy Insects

Larval host for:

Monarch, Queen butterfly

Provincial tree/flower?

Plant Watch species?

No

Interesting Tidbits
 
References

Asclepias incarnata is now rare in the wild in Manitoba, but is available in native nurseries. (Prairie Habitats Inc)

POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Toxic only in large quantities. Symptoms include, vomiting, stupor, weakness, spasms. Toxic Principle: Cardiac glycosides and resinoids.

Although milkweeds are poisonous raw, the young shoots, leaves and seed pods are all edible cooked. (Poisonous Plants of N.C. State)

The flower buds, nectar sweet flowers and seeds are also edible. (Kershaw)

Plants can be divided in early spring, or started from seeds that mature in early fall.

'Incarnata' means red or flesh coloured. (Dickinson et al, Wildflower, Ont.ROM)

Habitat Information: This widespread plant works well to rehabilitate and restore habitat. Found in full sun wet meadow, swamps, fens, bogs and other wet areas. (Evergreen)

Garden Uses: This plant is quite a wonderful garden plant, which tolerates very well the annual onslaught, of aphids, which turn bright orange. This plant provides food for other insects such as lady bugs, which feed on the aphids, and can also be seen with a dangling chrysalis of the monarch butterfly. Great for educational purposes, since kids and adults alike observe the life cycle of the monarch on this plant. (Evergreen)

Flowers are composed of many tiny dark pink flowerlets, that look a bit like mini orchids at close range. (Evergreen) This plant is a great choice in a wet, and full sun or part shade pond garden, residential downspout gardens, or for use in bioswales or stormwater ponds, where water is captured and held to create periodic moist to wet conditions. (Evergreen)

Traditional Edible, Medicinal Uses: WARNING: This plant may be TOXIC if eaten without proper treatment. Chippewa and Iroquois First Nations used the roots in an infusion to strengthen the body, and heal babies navels. Root is emetic, diuretic, anthelmintic (deworming). Pleurisy Root, one of its other common names refers to its traditional First Nations in use treating lung problems, including pleurisy.

Insect Information: The monarch butterfly's caterpillar (Danaus plexippus) uses this plant, and other native milkweed species as its only food source. Is also important for the queen butterfly (Danaus glippus) larvae.

Other Uses: The stringy stems provide fiber for twine, rope and other textiles. (The furry appendage that is attached to seed is many times more buoyant than cork, and much warmer than wool. It was grown for use in lifejackets during World War II.) (USDA Resources Conservation Service)

Poisonous Plants of N.C. State

Missouri Botanical Garden, 200

David Suzuki Foundation

National Audubon Society: Field Guide to North American Butterflies
National Audubon Society
Alfred A. Knopf, New York
1981
ISBN: 0-394-51914-0

National Audubon Society: Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region
National Audubon Society
Alfred A. Knopf, New York
1979
ISBN: 0-394-50432-1

Ontario Wildflowers
Linda Kershaw
Lone Pine Publishing
2002
ISBN 1-55101-285-7

Ontario Native Plants: 2002 Resource Guide
Ontario Native Plants Company
2002

The ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario
Timothy Dickinson, Deborah Metsger, Jenny Bull, Richard Dickinson
Royal Ontario Museum, McClelland and Stewart
2004
0-7710-7652-5



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