Milkweed: Swamp (Asclepias incarnata)
As the name indicates, these swamp milkweed seeds for sale thrive in swamps and low meadows or along streams. The bright pink flowers attract swarms of bees and butterflies, and have a sweet scent described as similar to vanilla or cinnamon. At one time, the silk from swamp milkweed seed pods was spun for fabric or used for stuffing pillows; in World War II, school children gathered the silk to provide a cheap filling for soldiers' life jackets. Commercial attempts to make use of this abundant plant included the manufacture of paper, fabric, lubricant, fuel, and rubber; eventually these became impractical and were abandoned. Though this plant is toxic to most animals, butterflies are immune to the plant's poison and actually become rather poisonous themselves as protection from predators.
Also Known As: Rose Milkweed, Red Milkweed, Swamp Silkweed, White Indian Hemp.
Ease of Growing: Easy
Grown as: Perennial
Maturity (Blooms): Jun-Oct.
Light: Full Sun
Soil Moisture: Medium
Attracts Beneficial Insects?: Yes. attracts buckeyes, bumblebees, eastern tiger swallowtails, fritillaries, giant swallowtails, hairstreaks, honey bees, hummingbird moths, hummingbirds, skippers, spicebush swallowtails and more! Monarch and Queen butterflies lay eggs on this plant and the resulting larvae (caterpillars) use the plant leaves as a food source. Also resists deer.
USDA Zone: 2-11
Produces: long, narrow, lance-shaped leaves and blooms bright pink, white and purple clusters of flowers.
Toxicity: This Milkweed is a neurotoxic species, which may cause neurologic signs, including weakness, ataxia, muscle tremors, recumbency, and tetanic seizures to grazing livestock. Consider wearing gloves when working with these plants because the milky sap is poisonous if ingested and can be toxic to human skin.
Young shoots - cooked. An asparagus substitute. Tips of older shoots are cooked like spinach.
Young seed pods, harvested when 1 - 1 1/2" long - cooked. A pea-like flavor, they are very appetizing.
The flower clusters can be boiled down to make a sugary syrup.