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-7/2015

Apocynum cannabinum (indian-hemp).MBGargiullo. central NJ. 7/2015

Apocynum cannabinum (Indian tobacco) latex. Photo by L.Wallis. Herbarium, University of Michigan. michganflora.net

Apocynum cannabinum (dogbane) latex. Photo by L.Wallis. Herbarium, University of Michigan. michganflora.net (Accessed 8/2017).

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. 

Apocynum cannabinum (dog bane) leaves. MBGargiullo. ca 2014

Apocynum cannabinum (dog bane) leaves. MBGargiullo. ca 2014

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

Apocynum cannabinum (dogbane) flowers. R. W. Smith. Herbarium, University of Michigan. michiganflora.net

Apocynum cannabinum (dogbane) flowers. R. W. Smith. Herbarium, University of Michigan. michiganflora.net (Accessed 8/2017).

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 canabinum (dogbane ) fruit in late winter. Farzana Quaraishi Benabdeljalil.Mt. Loretto, S.I., NYC

Apocynum canabinum (dogbane ) fruit in late winter. Farzana Quaraishi Benabdeljalil.Mt. Loretto, S.I., NYC

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). 

Chrysochus auratus (dogbane beetle) (6881287554). commons.wikimedia.org (Accessed 8/2017).

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).