Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
- Family: Milkweed (Asclepiadaceae)
- Flowering: July-October.
- Field Marks: This is the only wetland milkweed with lanceolate opposite leaves, pink or pinkish red hour-glass-shaped flowers, and milky sap.
- Habitat: Swamps, wet ditches, wet prairies, streambanks, marshes.
- Habit: Perennial herb.
- Stems: Erect, branched, smooth, rarely hairy, with milky sap, up to 5 feet tall.
- Leaves: Opposite, simple, lanceolate to oblanceolate, pointed at the tip, narrowed or rounded at the base, without teeth, smooth or hairy on the lower surface, with milky sap, up to 4 inches long, up to 1 inch wide, with short stalks.
- Flowers: Several borne in umbels, pink to pinkish red, hour-glass-shaped, up to 1/3 inch long, borne on smooth stalks.
- Sepals: 5, greenish, turned downward.
- Petals: 5, pink to pinkish red, associated with a 5-parted central column.
- Stamens: 5, associated with the central column.
- Pistils: Ovaries 2, superior.
- Fruits: Follicles smooth, up to 5 inches long, containing several seeds with silky hairs at one end.
- Notes: The leaves, when gathered young, can be cooked and eaten as a vegetable. The roots are eaten by muskrats.
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Return to Species List -- Group 7
Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens)