August 28, 2022
By MaryAnn Fink/ The Native Explorer contributor/ Pollinator Junction/ Museum of Transportation
Just a few pollinator food flowers are blooming at the Museum of Transportation’s Pollinator Junction.
Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana)
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepia incarnata)
Sweet Coneflower (Rudbeckia subtomentosa)
Ornamental Onion (Allium stellatum)
Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata)
Thistle (Cirsium discolor)
Wild blue Sage (Salvia azurea)
Featured Bloom: Swamp Milkweed (Asclepia incarnata)
Swamp milkweed is an easy to grow Missouri native perennial with smooth, sometimes lanky, stalks that remain fairly flexible.
I love the way she can be both nimble and strong. She is able to carefully balance bouquets of complicated dusty rose pink flower clusters that are lightly scented near and at the very tip of her tippy top. (Sometimes she dresses in the white flowering form).
Her milky bundle of straw-like stems group together nicely enough that she requires minimal shoulder room and can fill a narrower place than her height suggests.
Keep in mind this milkweed likes moisture so be sure there is consistent moisture at her feet as she is likely to fade away if she is overly thirsty all the time!
Her flowering is well timed for the enjoyment of an assortment of butterflies but especially Monarchs who use her narrow willowy foliage for baby food.
Nectar is served from mid-summer until fall to butterflies and bumble bees. Various other insects are attracted as well. Fairy sized silky “seed carrying” parachutes form at season’s end making her very fun entertainment in any garden!
There are several patches growing and profusely flowering now at Pollinator Junction!