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FutureStarrSwamp Milkweed Vs Milkweed
Swamp Milkweed is a native perennial of the eastern and central United States and southern Canada (Manitoba, Quebec, and Nova Scotia). It is common in wetlands. Swamp milkweed will often have multiple stems up to 2 m tall and it can have several stems coming from one single root crown (Ivey et al., 2003). Each stem on average can have 22 pink flowers (Ivey et al., 2003). Flowers will last about 5 days and each flower produces about 1.5 uL of nectar each day, with a mean sucrose concentration of 30% (C.T. Ivey, unpublished data). Monarchs often lay eggs on fresh shoots that are easier for caterpillars to feed on. Swamp milkweed can spread highly efficiently by shooting out rhizomes. This means a patch of Swamp milkweed could actually just be a single plant!
Swamp milkweed (also known as rose milkweed) is another native perennial. It typically is found in prairie potholes, at the edges of marshes and in wet ditches. Swamp milkweed has 3- to 6-inch-long, lance-shaped leaves, grows 3 to 4 feet tall and blooms from July through August. The vanilla-scented flowers are pale pink to rose-purple. The flowers are followed by 3- to 4-inch pods that contain numerous plumed seeds. Stems and leaves exude a milky sap when cut or bruised.Butterfly weed and swamp milkweed can be established by sowing seeds. They also can be established by planting bare-root or potted plants. Growing plants from seeds is rather challenging. The successful establishment of both milkweed species is much easier with the planting of bare-root or potted plants. Seeds and bare-root plants are available from mail-order nurseries that specialize in native plant materials. Potted plants are available at local garden centers and nurseries.
Asclepias incarnate, swamp milkweed, is a much taller plant growing to 3-4 feet in height usually with a single stem with some branching near the top. The pink to purple somewhat flat flower clusters appear at the top of the stems in July and August and have a faint cinnamon odor. This plant prefers to grow in damp or wet areas near ponds or bogs in full sun or partial shade but will survive in drier areas if it gets sufficient water. It is often one of the first plants to grow in an abandoned field or other disturbed area but does not do well when crowded by other plants. The leaves are long and thin, turning slightly purple if the plant gets sufficient sun and the pods are held upright on the plant. This is a good plant for wet, even mucky, clay soil if there is sufficient sun. Swamp milkweed can become leggy and unsightly in the fall and it is also a magnet for aphids. For this reason, along with its height, it is best at the back of a border. (Source: butler.osu.edu)