Sunday, February 7, 2010

Swamp Milkweed - Asclepias perennis

Swamp milkweed (Asclepias perennis) is the “other” swamp milkweed, but quite a different species than A. incarnata, described elsewhere in this blog. As its common name implies, swamp milkweed occurs in a variety of wetland habitats, including semi-shaded forests. It can survive lower amounts of direct sunlight than our other native species, but it will become lankier and flower less abundantly. Swamp milkweed requires good soil moisture to prosper. It has some drought tolerance and is more easily grown than swamp rose milkweed, but it will eventually disappear if not provided with plenty of water during the summer months. This is a somewhat diminutive species. At mature height in the late spring, its many stems rarely stand taller than 2 feet. Each is densely covered by lance-shaped bright green leaves approximately 2 inches in length. Swamp milkweed blooms in the summer. Although it does not produce large flower heads, each is composed of bright white flowers which are attractive. This wildflower is commonly propagated for home gardeners and is quite hardy if used in locations that stay moist to wet. For best effect, plant it in small clusters of at least three and use it near the front of the planting bed.

8 comments:

  1. Can this species be propagated by cuttings?

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  2. Milkweeds can be propagated by root cuttings once mature. I grow mine from seed to keep up the genetic diversity, but for home use root cuttings are a good way to increase your number.

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  3. I am so happy to have found this species !!! I just got three plants and I just want make sure they survive . The more moist side of my house has less sun, OR I have a pond in the back yard. Should I plant or here near the water???
    My house is a monarch waystation and I'm always trying to add diversity of color and propagate more plants .glad I found your site!

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  4. Hi Craig , I found more at a local grower of nativ plants , they are doing well and one plant is producing fruit .

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  5. How they transport them selves ? I have a pont in back yard, should I move seeds to that location ????

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  6. * pond. I now have 12 plants

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  7. This species is easily propagated by cuttings.

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  8. Southeast of Houston I have a large bed of A. perennis which I water thoroughly twice a week. I've found it to be the preferred milkweed for Monarch larvae over the more common A. viridis and A. linearis. Due to it's small size a plant will be defoliated by one or two larvae within a few days but after the larvae leave it will start leafing out within a week in the summer. Although the seeds can be kept in the refrigerator till fall planting I had high germination rates by sowing the seeds immediately after breaking out of the pod.

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