A few short days later, I stumbled across another perplexing milkweed mystery.
In June, a Florida gardener posted a mystery milkweed photo on my facebook page.
Over the 4th of July, I saw these same plants on a city boulevard in Chicago. After seeing them up close and personal, I was pretty sure they weren’t milkweed plants…but I left the windy city without making a positive ID.
Now, I’ve discovered a familiar ‘swampostor’ blending in to our swamp milkweed patch. But this time the faux milkweed made a fatal mistake. The flowing flowers clearly revealed its family secret…milkweed is not the father!
Before I saw its flowers, I was wondering if this mystery plant could be the result of cross-pollination between swamp/tropical milkweed. After the blooms were revealed, I realized there was a milkweed impostor in our midst…
Milkweed Impostor 2
This July, a second milkweed impostor has been discovered in the swamp milkweed patch. It also has leaves resembling Asclepias incarnata, but its flowing purple panicles have revealed it as a milkweed brother from another mother:
This season I turned to a new ally in my question for plant identification:
A helpful group member had my answer with a matter of minutes:
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
After further research I discovered this plant is classified as a noxious weed in our state, so I dug it out and put it in the yard waste can.
Another milkweed mystery solved…
Click the following link to find 25+ REAL Milkweed Varieties for your butterfly garden.