SWAMP MILKWEED

This milkweed, as its name implies, grows in moisture-rich soils such as along ponds, streams, or marshes rather than proper swamps. However, it can also grow in a regular garden, for example into a hollower space to conserve moisture.
The plant reaches up to 1.5 meters high (4 ft.), and forms a clump of stems at the base that expand fan-like. The pink (sometimes white) flower clusters are on top of the stems, and the seed pods stand up vertically. The narrow and pointed leaves are opposite and form a cross when seen from the top. The roots are white and fleshy.
The root clump grows each year from new stem buds at the crown level. The plant also spreads from its seeds, each of which is attached to a silky parachute.
This milkweed can live 4-5 years in the wild. It is the only species native to Prince Edward Island.
COLLECTING THE SEEDS: Unless you want your milkweed to spread from seed all over the area around the plants, you need to deadhead the pods when they are forming. Or, if you want to collect the seeds, the time for harvesting the pods is when they start to split open. Once the pods are fully open, it doesn’t take long before the wind will quickly disperse all those beautiful little silky parachutes.

Swamp Milkweed in full bloom. The plant clump is narrow at the base but opens up fan-like at the top - Aug. 2012
Swamp Milkweed in full bloom. The plant clump is narrow at the base but opens up fan-like at the top – Aug. 2012
Swamp Milkweed blooms close up - Aug. 10, 2018
Swamp Milkweed blooms close up – Aug. 10, 2018
Swamp Milkweed leaves are opposite, cross distributed. Those are 2 year old plants - Sept. 29, 2018
Swamp Milkweed leaves are opposite, cross distributed. Those are 2 year old plants – Sept. 29, 2018
Swamp Milkweed pod is 3 in. (7.5 cm) long - Oct. 4, 2018
Swamp Milkweed pod is 3 in. (7.5 cm) long – Oct. 4, 2018
Swamp Milkweed root clump 10 in. long (25.4 cm) on 2 year-old plant - Oct. 4, 2018
Swamp Milkweed root clump 10 in. long (25.4 cm) on 2 year-old plant – Oct. 4, 2018
Swamp milkweed clump with seed pods - Sept. 29, 2018
Swamp milkweed clump with seed pods – Sept. 29, 2018
Swamp Milkweed can have white flowers sometimes - July 30, 2016
Swamp Milkweed can have white flowers sometimes – July 30, 2016
Swamp Milkweed leaves are not glossy like Butterfly Milkweed leaves, and have a different vein pattern than the latter. Sept. 29, 2018
Swamp Milkweed leaves are not glossy like Butterfly Milkweed leaves, and have a different vein pattern than the latter. Sept. 29, 2018
Swamp Milkweed pods drying. The silk will fly all over the place with the slightest disturbance - Oct. 8, 2018
Swamp Milkweed pods drying. The silk will fly all over the place with the slightest disturbance – Oct. 8, 2018
Group of 2 year-old Swamp Milkweed plant showing their roots - Sept. 30, 2018
Group of 2 year-old Swamp Milkweed plant showing their roots – Sept. 30, 2018
Swamp Milkweed blooms in pink clusters at the top of the stems - July 30, 2017
Swamp Milkweed blooms in pink clusters at the top of the stems – July 30, 2017
Close up of white Swamp Milkweed blooms with a pollinator on them - July 25, 2014
Close up of white Swamp Milkweed blooms with a pollinator on them – July 25, 2014
Swamp milkweed pod groups stand erect at the top of the stems - Sept. 29, 2018
Swamp milkweed pod groups stand erect at the top of the stems – Sept. 29, 2018
Swamp Milkweed seeds ready for stratification inside or immediate fall planting - Nov. 3, 2018
Swamp Milkweed seeds ready for stratification inside or immediate fall planting – Nov. 3, 2018
Close up of Swamp Milkweed fleshy root system showing the future stem buds around the crown - Oct. 4, 2018
Close up of Swamp Milkweed fleshy root system showing the future stem buds around the crown – Oct. 4, 2018

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