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
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.
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 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.
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.