Latin for Gardeners: May 2019

May’s Native Maryland Plant

Asclepias incarnata

(uh-SKLEE-pee-us in-kar-NAY-tuh)

Common Name: Swamp Milkweed


It’s May and so much is blooming – it’s a great time to be outside! Like some of you, I’m remembering the rains from last May and wondering what this May could hold in terms of weather. My plan is to plant more natives that can tolerate wet areas - this beautiful pink milkweed is one of them. If you have a moist sunny spot, I’d suggest you try swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata. I planted mine directly outside my sunporch window allowing me to see the ‘magic’ as it happens.


As Master Gardeners and Watershed Stewards, we know that by planting any Asclepias sp. we’re supporting the lifecycle of the amazing Danaus plexippus, better known as the Monarch butterfly. The monarch caterpillar relies exclusively on milkweed species to develop, without it the life cycle of the butterfly is broken – no more Monarchs. Rosalie Barrow Edge helped save our iconic Bald Eagle from extinction, each of us can help save the iconic Monarch – just by planting milkweed.

To fully appreciate milkweed’s beauty be sure to take a careful look at its complex flower structure.


Visit the to learn more about saving the Monarchs.

Alison Milligan

Mstr. Gardener/Mstr. Naturalist/Mstr. Watershed Steward

Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional (CBLP)