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Asclepias perennis (Aquatic Milkweed)

Aquatic Milkweed, White Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed

Asclepias perennis, Aquatic Milkweed, White Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed, White flowers, White Asclepias
Asclepias perennis, Aquatic Milkweed, White Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed, White flowers, White Asclepias

Asclepias perennis (Aquatic Milkweed) is an erect perennial boasting flat umbels packed with up to 20-50 white starry flowers, often pinkish along the undersides towards their tips. Blooming from late spring to fall for about 4-8 weeks, the mildly fragrant flowers are a great source of nectar for butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects. The blooms occur on upright purplish-green stems clad with opposite, short and narrow, green leaves, 3-5 in. long (7-12 cm). They give way to smooth pendulous seed pods that split along a single suture to release the seeds. Unlike most Asclepias species, which have fluffy seeds that are dispersed by the wind, Aquatic Milkweed has winged seeds that are designed to float on the surface of the water and are dispersed with flood events. Found in areas with soils that are continuously wet, such as floodplains, waterway margins, marshes, cypress swamps, ditches, and wetlands, Aquatic Milkweed is a great choice for the bog garden.

Milkweed plants are critical to monarch butterflies‘ survival, whose population in North America has plummeted by 90% in the last 20 years. By planting milkweed in your own garden, you can help reverse the fortune of these beautiful insects!

  • Grows up to 2-3 ft. tall (60-90 cm) and 12 in. wide (30 cm).
  • Thrives in full sun to part shade in wet to consistently moist soils. Standing water is tolerated if it is temporary.
  • Low maintenance, this perennial plant is generally pest and disease free. Deer and rabbit resistant.
  • Perfect for bog gardens, butterfly gardens, shallow pools, and along ponds and streams.
  • Propagate by seed.
  • Toxic to dogs, toxic to cats, toxic to horses.
  • Native to the United States, it occurs along the Mississippi River in Illinois and south to the Gulf, extending over to Florida.

Grow Milkweed, Save Monarch Butterflies: A Step-by-Step Guide


By providing the right growing conditions, you can enjoy healthy and vibrant milkweed in your garden while supporting pollinator populations.

Requirements

Hardiness 6 - 10
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Apocynaceae
Genus Asclepias
Common names Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 10" - 1'
(25cm - 30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs High
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Indiana, Illinois, Midwest, Missouri, Southeast, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Southwest, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit, Wet Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Bog Gardens, Ponds And Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Asclepias eriocarpa (Woollypod Milkweed)
Asclepias subulata (Rush Milkweed)
Asclepias cordifolia (Heartleaf Milkweed)
Asclepias linaria (Pine-Needle Milkweed)
Asclepias quadrifolia (Fourleaf Milkweed)
Asclepias purpurascens (Purple Milkweed)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

How to Create an Enchanting Butterfly Garden
For the Love of Butterflies: Best Flowers to Attract them to Your Garden
6 Reasons You Should Create a Butterfly Garden
Grow Milkweed, Save Monarch Butterflies: A Step-by-Step Guide
Asclepias (Milkweed)
Save Monarch Butterflies with these Ornamental Milweeds
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 6 - 10
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Apocynaceae
Genus Asclepias
Common names Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 10" - 1'
(25cm - 30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs High
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Indiana, Illinois, Midwest, Missouri, Southeast, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Southwest, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit, Wet Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Bog Gardens, Ponds And Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Asclepias (Milkweed)
Not sure which Asclepias (Milkweed) to pick?
Compare Now

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