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Apocynum cannabinum

Apocynum cannabinum L.

Apocynum cannabinum L. var. angustifolium (Woot.) N.H. Holmgren

Apocynum cannabinum L. var. glaberrimum A. DC.

Apocynum cannabinum L. var. greeneanum (Bég. & Beloserky) Woodson

Apocynum cannabinum L. var. hypericifolium (Aiton) A. Gray

Apocynum cannabinum L. var. nemorale (G.S. Mill.) Fernald

Apocynum cannabinum L. var. pubescens (Mitchell ex R. Br.) Woodson

Apocynum cannabinum L. var. suksdorfii (Greene) Bég. & Beloserky

Apocynum hypericifolium Aiton

Apocynum pubescens Mitchell ex R. Br.

Apocynum sibiricum Jacq.

Apocynum sibiricum Jacq. var. cordigerum (Greene) Fernald

Apocynum sibiricum Jacq. var. farwellii (Greene) Fernald

Apocynum sibiricum Jacq. var. salignum (Greene) Fernald

Apocynum suksdorfii Greene

Apocynum suksdorfii Greene var. angustifolium (Woot.) Woodson

Dogbane, Amy Root, Hemp Dogbane, Prairie Dogbane, Indian Hemp, Rheumatism Root, Wild Cotton

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderGentianalesGentians, coffee, gardenias, frangipani, many others
FamilyApocynaceaeDogbane family
GenusApocynumFrom Greek apo, “away from;” and kyon or kunos, “dog”: noxious to dogs, for its ancient use as a dog poison
SpeciescannabinumHemp-like

About plant names...

Dogbane is a perennial shrub that is native to and common in North America. It prefers woods, ditches, and hillsides, in gravelly or sandy soil. Dogbane bark is a superb source of fiber for making clothes, twine, nets, bags, etc. The plants are harvested in the fall, after the toxins drain to the roots.

Plants: 6½-20' (2-6 m) high, with reddish stems that excude a milky latex if cut. This sap can cause blisters. Stems are woody at the base, branching a lot further up.

Leaves: Opposite, simple, entire, broadly lanceolate, 2½-6" (7-15 cm) × 1-1¾" (3-5 cm). Leaves are smooth on top and have fine white hairs below.

Flowers: White to greenish-white flowers have large sepals and a five-lobed corolla. Each flower is ¼" (6.3 mm) in size. They appear at leaf tips or leaf axils. They appear from May to August.

Fruits: Flowers are replaced by pairs of narrow pointed pods about 4-5" (10-12 cm) × ⅛" (3.2 mm). Each pod contains a large number of seeds, and has tufts of silky white hairs at its tips.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones This is poisonous to dogs and livestock as well as to people, and can cause heart attack. Stems contain a milky sap that causes skin to blister. The “cannabinum” in the scientific name refers to a similarity to Cannabis, because of the fibrous properties of both plants. Dogbane is not psychoactive. Despite the plant’s toxicity, seeds can be ground to produce a meal.

Medical: Native Americans used this plant for a variety of medical treatments, though its high degree of toxicity requires a great deal of expertise.

Online References:

Apocynum cannabinum on Wikipedia

Apocynum cannabinum on www.primitiveways.com

Apocynum cannabinum at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Apocynum cannabinum on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site

Apocynum sp. on Wildflowers, Ferns & Trees of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah (Excellent comparison of several Apocynum species.)

Apocynum cannabinum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 3 Jul 2017.

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Apocynum cannabinum (Dogbane, Amy Root, Hemp Dogbane, Prairie Dogbane, Indian Hemp, Rheumatism Root, Wild Cotton)

7/27/2016 · Michaux State Forest, Caledonia State Park, Fayetteville, PA
≈ 16 × 14" (39 × 34 cm)

Apocynum cannabinum (Dogbane, Amy Root, Hemp Dogbane, Prairie Dogbane, Indian Hemp, Rheumatism Root, Wild Cotton)

7/27/2016 · Michaux State Forest, Caledonia State Park, Fayetteville, PA
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm)

Apocynum cannabinum (Dogbane, Amy Root, Hemp Dogbane, Prairie Dogbane, Indian Hemp, Rheumatism Root, Wild Cotton)

7/27/2016 · Michaux State Forest, Caledonia State Park, Fayetteville, PA
≈ 19 × 14" (47 × 34 cm)

Apocynum cannabinum (Dogbane, Amy Root, Hemp Dogbane, Prairie Dogbane, Indian Hemp, Rheumatism Root, Wild Cotton)

7/27/2016 · Michaux State Forest, Caledonia State Park, Fayetteville, PA
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm)

Range:

About this map...