Highlands Biological Station buildings remain closed to visitors with the exception of limited visitor hours for the Nature Center.  HBS Botanical Garden trails remain open, and in accordance with University policy masks and physical distancing are required on the HBS campus.  Highlands Biological Station currently plans to offer academic and public programming in summer 2021, observing University mandated Covid-19 safety protocols.  For the safety of the HBS summer community, before being permitted to work or study at HBS prospective summer students, teaching faculty, and researchers must provide documentation of (1) having received a Covid-19 vaccine or (2) a negative Covid-19 test taken within 3 days of planned arrival.  Please see the HBS website for full summer 2021 Covid-19 safety policies and procedures, and bear in mind that University policy and HBS program plans are subject to change in light of developments with the pandemic this spring. 

Asclepias incarnata

Swamp Milkweed


Dogbane Family

Asclepias incarnata is a relative of the more recognized “Butterfly Milkweed.” Distinguished by it’s bright clumps of pink blooms that emerge in summer, “Swamp Milkweed” is an equally attractive perennial for both humans and insects. As the common name would suggest, swamp milkweed are primarily found in swampy, moist bottomland areas throughout the Eastern and Midwestern United States. Given its native range, it’s tolerable of wet soils and areas with poor drainage. One notable feature of the flowers aside from their soft pink color is their subtle fragrance.


While not as commonly thought of, A. incarnate is still an excellent nectar source for Monarch butterfly larvae. Another insect commonly seen benefitting from this plant are the Tussock moth caterpillars.