SWAMP MILKWEED
File Size: 71 KB
 
Asclepias incarnata  L.
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 2-8 feet
Family: Apocynaceae - Dogbane Family
Flowering Period:   June, July, August, September
Stems: Erect, mostly solitary, simple to branced above, stout, glabrous or with lines of hairs extending downward from leaf bases.
Leaves: Mostly opposite, ascending to spreading, lanceolate, 1.2 to 6 inches long, 1/5 to 1.8 inches wide, thin, pliable, sparsely hairy on veins; tips pointed; on stalks 1/5 to 3/5 inch long.
Inflorescences: Umbels, few to many, 10- 40-flowered, terminal; on stalks 1/2 to 3 inches long.
Flowers: 5-parted, 2/5 inch tall; on thread-like stalks 2/5 to 4/5 inch long; calyx lobes lanceolate to ovate, less than 1/10 inch long, green to purple; corolla lobes elliptic to oblanceolate, 1/4 inch long, bright pink or rarely white, glabrous, bent abruptly downward; hoods oblong, pinkish or whitish, attached near base, slightly spreading; horns needle-shaped, white, united to lower half of hood.
Fruits: Pods, spindle-shaped, 2 to 3 inches long, glabrous to sparsely hairy, erect on straight to curved stalks; seeds many, broadly ovate, 1/4 to 1/3 inch long; tufted with white hairs at tip.
Habitat: Wet areas; lake and pond edges, stream banks, and marshy swamps.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
Uses: Native Americans used an infusion of roots as a wash to give strength and heal the navels of newborn babies; boiled the plant and took the liquid for kidney and back ailments; used dried stem fibers to help extract teeth; and used the heads in soups.
Comments: Formerly treated as Asclepiadaceae - Milkweed Family.

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