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Asclepias incarnate 'Ice Ballet' - Swamp Milkweed (photo credit: Growing Colors)


Asclepias incarnata 'Ice Ballet'

Swamp Milkweed

Asclepias incarnata 'Ice Ballet' commonly called swamp milkweed, is an erect, clump-forming cultivar of the Missouri native plant which is commonly found in swamps, river bottomlands and wet meadows throughout the State. It typically grows 3-4' tall on branching stems. Small, fragrant, white flowers appear in tight clusters at the stem ends in summer. Stems exude a toxic milky sap when cut. Flowers are followed by attractive seed pods which split open when ripe releasing silky-haired seeds easily carried by the wind. Flowers are very attractive to butterflies as a nectar source. In addition, swamp milkweed is an important food source for the larval stage of Monarch butterflies.


'Ice Ballet' is a more compact, white-flowered form of the pink-flowered Missouri native species.

Host plant for the following butterflies (nectar)-- American Copper, American Lady, Baltimore Checkerspot, Banded Hairstreak, Black Swallowtail, Bronze Copper, Cabbage White, Common Buckeye, Delaware Skipper, Eastern Tailed-Blue, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Fiery Skipper, Giant Swallowtail, Gray Hairstreak , Great Spangled Fritillary, Hoary Edge, Little Glassywing, Lorquin Admiral, Monarch (exclusive food source for the caterpillar), Mourning Cloak, Orange Sulphur, Painted Lady, Pearl Crescent, Peck's Skipper, Pipevine Swallowtail, Queen, Question Mark, Red Admiral, Red-banded Hairstreak, Red-spotted Purple, Sachem, Silver-spotted Skipper, Silvery Checkerspot, Sleepy Orange, Southern Cloudywing, Spicebush Swallowtail, Spring Azure, Two-tailed Swallowtail , Variegated Fritillary, Viceroy, Zabulon, Zebra Longwing, Zebra Swallowtail

Host plant for the Monarch caterpillar (food source)

Swamp Milkweed Growing and Maintenance Tips:

Easily grown in medium to wet soils in full sun. Surprisingly tolerant of average well-drained soils in cultivation even though the species is native to swamps and wet meadows. Plants have deep taproots and are best left undisturbed once established. Foliage is slow to emerge in spring.


36-42 in



12-36 in


Hardiness Zone:

3 - 9

Characteristics & Attributes for Asclepias incarnata 'Ice Ballet'

Soil Moisture Preference
Attracts Wildlife
Critter Resistance
Deer Resistant
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Mass Planting
Border or Bed
Focal Point
Clay Soil
Great Companion Plants for Asclepias incarnata 'Ice Ballet'
Siberian Iris Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica 'Caesar's Brother')
Coneflower Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'PowWow Wild Berry')
Cardinal Flower Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis )
Blue Cardinal Flower Blue Cardinal Flower (Lobelia siphilitica )
Similar Plants to Asclepias incarnata 'Ice Ballet'
Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed, Swamp (Asclepias incarnata )
Butterfly Weed Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa )
Swamp Milkweed Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata 'Cinderella')
Slender Mountain Mint Slender Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium )