Apocynum cannabinum Indian hemp Apocynaceae APCA; Bx, pb, sn, vc, wv (Yost et al. 1991); NY, bl (Stalter and Tang 2002), hb; Q, a, fr, ft, j, lk, tl, wl; K, fl, fs, m, p; R, ca, d, e, fk, gr, hs, jl, js, mm, ok, sb, ty, v, wt;

   

apocynum-cannabinum-indian-hemp-71515-municipal-bldg-2

Apocynum cannabinum (indian-hemp).MBGargiullo.East Windsor, NJ.Municipal-bldg 7.15.2015-

Apocynum cannabinum is a perennial herb, to 1.5 m tall; colonial from rhizomes; stems erect, sap milky, sticky latex; branches curved upward, often red in full sun. 

Leaves opposite, stalks 0.5-1 cm, blade narrowly oblong, to 11 cm long, tip pointed, base rounded to pointed, often pale-hairy below. 

Flowers whitish, small, to 0.6 cm wide, radially symmetrical, 5-parted, tubular, petal tube with short lobes; inflorescence of terminal clusters, May-Sept. 

apocynum-cannabinum-en-wikipedia-org

Apocynum cannabinum.en_.wikipedia.org

Fruit dry, hollow, a pair of linear capsules, to 15 cm long, 0.4 cm wide, splitting to release silky-plumed seeds. Stems and pod remnants persistent, dark brown in winter. 

Wetland status: FACU. 

Frequency in NYC: Common. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Open areas, fill, edges, roadsides, vacant lots, meadows; tolerates nutrient poor soil, pH 4.5-7 (USDA, NRCS 2006). 

Notes: Contains various toxins including cardio-active glycosides (a class of bitter, sugar-containing, compounds) and resins (Kingsbury 1964). Forms widely spreading colonies. Competes fairly well with mugwort in some habitats (Gargiullo personal observation). Leaves fed upon by the dogbane beetle, Chrysochus auratus (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), which leaves characteristic streaks of latex on the leaf surface after feeding on leaf edges (Williams 1991).