Nodding Onion Gardens

Native Plant Nursery

Where Wildflowers Grow

Columbia Station, Ohio, USA


  Asclepias incarnata - Swamp Milkweed

Ohio Native Plant - Natural Range

Asclepias incarnata

The United State Department of Agriculture Natural Resources and Conservation Services has wonderful map showing the natural range of Swamp Milkweed.

Native Plant of the Year

LEAP (Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership for Biodiversity) - Native Plant of the Year 2013

Swamp Milkeed pods
Swamp Milkeed pods
Did you know - Most butterflies last only two weeks; whereas, the Monarch migrates to Mexico as part of its life cycle. They exclusively host on milkweed and birds will not eat them because of the noxious taste from the milkweed .

The photo on the right is of a Monarch caterpillar on Swamp Milkweed in my backyard. It is one of five different variety milkweed plants that Beth gave me  { These are different from the common milkweed plants that you are all familiar with]
Swamp Milkweed Seed Pods
Mature seeds on a windy day
Swamp Milkweed Seeds
Our Swamp Milkweed Seeds

Propagation Notes 

Stratifying Seeds 

Refrigerate seeds, cold moist storage for 30 days   

Collect Seed
- Wait until seed pods begin to open. Rubber-band pods to prevent seed from flying away

Supplies Needed For Seed Stratification -

1. Zip lock plastic bag

2. Few table spoons of Vermiculite

3. Dampen vermiculite - not soggy

4. Store in refrigerator for 30 days

Understanding Milkweed Plants

Milkweed a Conservation Practitioner Guide -
By - Brianna Borders & Eric Lee-Mäder

Nodding Nodding Onion Gardens Blog Post -  Swamp Milkweed

A Guide to the Milkweeds of Ohio - Natural Treasures oh Ohio - Blog

Monarch butterfly on Swamp Milkweed
Swamp Milkweed - Butterfly Host Plant

Cultivation Information

Pronounced - ass-KLEP_ee-ass

Height - 2 to 4 ft
Flower Color - White to Pink
Blooms - June - August
Flower Color - Pink
Sun - Sun to part sun
Hardy Zone - 3 to 9
Soil -Moist to dry
pH -4.0 to 6.0

Family - Asclepidaceae

Wildlife Significance

Nectar Source - for long-tongued bees,

: Silver-Spotted skipper,

Butterflies:Spicebush Swallowtail, Eastern Black Swallowtail, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Clouded Sulphur, Spring Azure, Great Spangled Fritillary, Eastern Tailed Blue, Silver-Spotted Skipper, beetles and numerous moths

Host Plant - Caterpillars of the Monarch butterflies, Milkweed tussock moth, Milkweed Tiger moth,

Leaves - Deer and other herbivores leave this plant alone, due to the bitter and toxic taste For more details on this plant visit the Illinois Wildflower website

Monarch on Swamp Milkweed
Monarch caterpillar - Roger Dahlin
Swamp Milkweed
Swamp Milkweed - A bee favorite
bee on Swamp Milkweed
July 2011 -  My daughter Karin was not the only one that noticed that the Swamp Milkweeds were in bloom. She located them on the sandy banks of Kirwan Reservior during a camping trip to West Branch State Park. The park is near Revenna, Ohio.

Seed Provenance  -

Prairie Moon Nursery - 2010 - 2011 Nodding Onion Gardens - 2012 - present - Suzanne Rafferty, Fairview Park, Ohio - 2014 - Roger Dahlin Baldwinsville, NY 2013