Butterflies, Butterfly Larvae, Bees, Other Showy Insects
Asclepias incarnata is now rare in the wild in Manitoba, but is available in native nurseries. (Prairie Habitats Inc)
POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Toxic only in large quantities. Symptoms include, vomiting, stupor, weakness, spasms. Toxic Principle: Cardiac glycosides and resinoids.
Although milkweeds are poisonous raw, the young shoots, leaves and seed pods are all edible cooked. (Poisonous Plants of N.C. State)
The flower buds, nectar sweet flowers and seeds are also edible. (Kershaw)
Plants can be divided in early spring, or started from seeds that mature in early fall.
'Incarnata' means red or flesh coloured. (Dickinson et al, Wildflower, Ont.ROM)
Habitat Information: This widespread plant works well to rehabilitate and restore habitat. Found in full sun wet meadow, swamps, fens, bogs and other wet areas. (Evergreen)
Garden Uses: This plant is quite a wonderful garden plant, which tolerates very well the annual onslaught, of aphids, which turn bright orange. This plant provides food for other insects such as lady bugs, which feed on the aphids, and can also be seen with a dangling chrysalis of the monarch butterfly. Great for educational purposes, since kids and adults alike observe the life cycle of the monarch on this plant. (Evergreen)
Flowers are composed of many tiny dark pink flowerlets, that look a bit like mini orchids at close range. (Evergreen) This plant is a great choice in a wet, and full sun or part shade pond garden, residential downspout gardens, or for use in bioswales or stormwater ponds, where water is captured and held to create periodic moist to wet conditions. (Evergreen)
Traditional Edible, Medicinal Uses: WARNING: This plant may be TOXIC if eaten without proper treatment. Chippewa and Iroquois First Nations used the roots in an infusion to strengthen the body, and heal babies navels. Root is emetic, diuretic, anthelmintic (deworming). Pleurisy Root, one of its other common names refers to its traditional First Nations in use treating lung problems, including pleurisy.
Insect Information: The monarch butterfly's caterpillar (Danaus plexippus) uses this plant, and other native milkweed species as its only food source. Is also important for the queen butterfly (Danaus glippus) larvae.
Other Uses: The stringy stems provide fiber for twine, rope and other textiles. (The furry appendage that is attached to seed is many times more buoyant than cork, and much warmer than wool. It was grown for use in lifejackets during World War II.) (USDA Resources Conservation Service)
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The Network of Nature is a national initiative to strengthen Canadian biodiversity by providing the inspiration, tools and knowledge to enhance existing greenspaces and naturalize developed areas with locally appropriate native plant species.