Classification Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Tracheophyta
Superdivision Spermatophyta
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Subclass Asteridae
Order Gentianales
Family Apocynaceae
Genus Apocynum
Species Apocynum cannabinum
Indianhemp

Date: June 13, 2011. Location: F.W. Kent Park (map)

BONAP, FNA, ITIS, USDA, VPI

Scientific Name: Apocynum cannabinum ([GR] apo=far from, cyon=dog; cannabinum=hemp-like) i.e. it makes dogs sick and the strong fiber—like hemp (Cannabis)—makes good cordage.

Common Name: Indianhemp, Common dogbane

Origin: Native

Notes: All parts of the plant are reported to be poisonous. Dogbane contains cymarin 1, 2 which has medical utility but can also cause cardiac arrest if improperly used.

Additional references: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22.

Field Marks for Identification:

Flowers: June; white, anthers on short filaments attached to the base of the corolla, stigma large ovate slightly 2 lobed lacking a style, calyx lobes acute; inflorescence terminal compound cyme (the central cyme flowering first); fruit-two long slender follicles.

Leaves: petioled, oblong-elliptic, mostly ascending.

Stems: green or red to dark purple, secrete a white sap when cut or broken.

Glossaries of botanical terms: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

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