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Eastern Swamp Milkweed

Asclepias incarnata variety pulchra

Quick Overview

  • Long flowering period

  • Monarch host plant

  • Easy to grow in moist or wet soil

  • Flowers attract pollinators

  • USDA hardiness zones 5 through 8

    Eastern swamp milkweed is the one of the best wildlife plants for the garden. Its pink flowers feed butterflies, bees, and beetles while its leaves provide an important food source for the caterpillars of the monarch butterfly.

    Eastern Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata variety pulchra) pink flowers open in summer and attract many different types of pollinators



    Pot size: 4.5 in. wide x 5 in. deep (32 fl. oz)



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  • Clump forming - doesn't spread
  • Vase-like
  • 3 to 5 ft. tall and wide
  • How to Grow

  • Sun to part shade – at least 6 hours of direct sun for best flowering
  • Moist to wet soil
  • Though native wet soil in the wild, it is surprisingly adaptable and can tolerant periodic drought, once established.

    Where to plant

  • Flower beds
  • Edges of ponds
  • Wet meadows and ditches
  • Rain gardens
  • Wildlife

    Flowers are mainly pollinated by:

  • Large bees and bumble bees
  • Large butterflies, such as swallowtails and monarchs
  • Flowers provide nectar for:

  • Wide variety of beneficial insects
  • Hummingbirds
  • Larval host plant for:

  • Monarch butterfly
  • Queen butterfly
  • Milkweed tussock moth
  • Native habitat and range

  • Edges of marshes, bogs, and swamps
  • Nova Scotia to Georgia
  • Source and origin

    Plants grown from seed collected on the edge of a roadside ditch in Alamance County, North Carolina.


    Asclepias incarnata variety pulchra differs from variety incarnata in that its leaves are pubescent (hairy), slightly wider and it has more branched habit of growth.


    Before seeds will germinate, they need to be exposed to a moist, cool period for at least three weeks, or work with nature and sow seeds in the fall so germination will occur in the spring. Here is an article we wrote on growing milkweed from seed.