Saturday, May 1, 2010

Swamp Milkweed

An important plant that is typically found in moist soil, often near the shore of ponds lakes and streams in this area is swamp milkweed or Asclepias incarnata. This native perennial is one of the primary food sources for the monarch butterfly caterpillar. The sap of the milkweed family is toxic and can cause irritation, sickness and death in animals that digest too much of the plant. This poison does not seem to effect the monarch though, in fact it is beneficial to the monarchs who themselves become toxic from ingesting the milkweed. This often prevents many predators from eating monarchs more then one time, that is if they survive the first time. The flower of swamp milkweed can be quite beautiful and often attracts adult monarchs and bees looking for nectar and pollen. I photographed this flowering milkweed along the St Croix River in Wild River State Park last summer.

8 comments:

GrammyMouseTails said...

very pretty. I do not think I have ever seen one in bloom before? Is this the same plant that makes a milk-weed pod? I so often see at edges of ponds & such? at the end of summer, or a different species?
Faythe @GrammyMouseTails

Denise said...

Another lovely flower. Thanks for sharing.

eileeninmd said...

Pretty shot of the milkweed!

Cher' Shots said...

I've never seen milkweed in bloom. Very pretty. I'll be watching for them from now on. Thanks for sharing.

Dave said...

I like this!

KaHolly said...

I have never noticed the Ascelepias incarnata before and now I'm wondering if I've mistaken it for something else more familiar, therefore just passing it by! (You know - Oh, that's just a robin?) I will definitely have to pay better attention!! ~karen

Jama said...

Pretty! I don't think I've seen these before.

Autumn Belle said...

This is a lovely shot that you have captured. I like the striking colour of this flower.