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white swamp milkweed

white swamp milkweed (Asclepias perennis)
Photo © Christopher David Benda

Features and Behaviors

White swamp milkweed, also known as aquatic milkweed or thin-leaved milkweed, grows to about two feet in height. Pairs of leaves are arranged opposite each other on the stem. Seedpods are up to two and one-half inches in length. Flowers are positioned in the leaf axils and are white or pink in color.

White swamp milkweed flowers May through September. It is found in the southern one-fourth of the state, along the Wabash River and in Richland County. This species grows in wet woods, swamps, ditches and on pond and stream banks. Its habitats must be shaded and wet. Seeds do not have tufts of hairs as those of other milkweeds and are dependent on water for dispersal.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Gentianales
Family: Asclepiadaceae

Illinois Status: common, native