Herb to about 4 feet tall with opposite, long,
narrow leaves. Bleeds white sap from any broken or bruised
part. Flowers have 5 downward-sweeping pink to red petals,
and a crown formed of 5 fused stamens, each with a hood.
The crown is a paler pink and surrounds the white stigma.
Blooms in midsummer. Fruit is a pod that splits open in
the fall to release seeds with little tufts of down that are
carried away by the wind. Empty pods persist into winter.
Likes swamps and other wet areas. Common
in the swamp along Wildwood Drive north of the Grand Staircase.
The bizarre flower shape is distinctive
of the genus Asclepias, the milkweeds. The bright
pink to red petals and the preference for wet areas identify
this species. Other milkweeds in Wildwood prefer drier
areas and have flowers that are green, orange, white or purple.