Where the ground is saturated with water along the stream and in the wet pasture, or in the roadside ditch which never dries, there stand the tall stalks of swamp milkweed. In July and August they are topped with spreading clusters of rose-pink and pale pink flowers with a rich, sweet, vanilla-like fragrance to which are attracted innumerable bees, flies, and butterflies. As in the manner of the common milkweed and others of the genus, flying insects pollinate the milkweed flowers, but often are caught by their feet as they attempt to depart.
Asclepias incarnata L.
Swamp milkweed has smaller flowers than many of the clan, but produces them abundantly. Their color and form are among the most exquisite of summer flowers, their fragrance among the most delectable. The leave- are glossy, veiny, alternate on the tall stem which often grows to six feet tall in a favorable locality. This is the sort of place where woodcocks poke around in spring mud. where redwings nest in nearby willow- and cattails, where frogs sing on balmy evenings, where the low trilling of toads fills the warm summer night. Here the hull snake and the water snake come to catch frogs on a summer day. Here on the mud flats when high summer dries much of the water level, the kill-deers and sandpipers come peeping and crying in an endless search for insects. This is the haunt of swamp milkweed in Illinois. It is as much a part of it as all the other wild things which live or grow or feed or have their being in the wet place.