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Apocynum cannabinum

This plant has poison characteristics. See below.
Common Name(s):
Dogbane, Indian hemp
Categories:
Herbs, Native Plants, Perennials, Poisonous Plants, Wildflowers
Comment:

Apocynum cannabinum is a bushy member of the dogbane and milkweed family that features alternate, lance-shaped leaves on upright, stiff stems with terminal clusters of very tiny, whitish flowers that bloom in summer. All parts of this dogbane exude a milky juice when bruised. Although this plant is considered toxic to humans (and the bane of dogs), the roots were commonly harvested in the 19th and early 20th centuries for a variety of folk medicine and medical purposes. This plant typically grows in the wild in dry rocky or open woods, glades and prairies. Stems are fibrous (cannabinummeaning hemp) and were once used to make rope. Very attractive to butterflies.

The stem of the Dogbane is smooth and red.

This herb produces a pair of 8-inch pods that contain seeds of down. 

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plain

Seasons of Interest: 

   Blooms:  Summer            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Fall

Wildlife Value:   This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.  Its flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies and other pollinators. 

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Because of its aggressive spreading growth habit it should be grown in areas where it will not crowd out other garden perennials.

Description:
Perennial herb with milky juice; leaves opposite, simple, margins not toothed; flowers small, pink-tinged, bell-shaped; fruit of 2 long and slender pods with many silky-haired seeds
Season:
Late spring into summer
Height:
1-4 ft.
Foliage:
The leaves of this plant are opposite with a smooth margin. The lower leaves will have a stem, while the upper leaves have none. The leaves are 1- to 3-inch and ovate or elliptical. It has an erect main stem and greenish side branches.
Flower:
Indian hemp has open cluster of urn-shaped, greenish-white flowers.
Zones:
4-9
Site:
Indian hemp grows in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. It prefers sandy soil. It is an aggressive plant that often grows in the wild in colonies and can be very aggressive in cultivation.
Exposure:
Full sun
Regions:
Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plains
Family:
Apocynaceae
Origin:
USA, NC
Distribution:
Mountains, Piedmont
Poison Part:
All parts, fresh or dry
Poison Delivery Mode:
Ingestion
Symptoms:
Cardiac arrest
Toxic Principle:
Resins and cardiac glycosides
Severity:
HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN!
Found in:
Forest or natural area in dry thickets; weedy in disturbed areas along roadsides, borders of woods, fields
Life Cycle:
Perennial
Tags:
perennial, drought tolerant, native, poisonous, butterflies, showy

NCCES plant id: 967

Apocynum cannabinum leaves Apocynum cannabinum leaves
Apocynum cannabinum Apocynum cannabinum
Photo of Apocynum cannabinum Photo of Apocynum cannabinum