Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)

Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)

Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium) is a perennial forb in the Dogbane Family (Apocynaceae) amd order Gentianales. The genus name is from the Greek "away from dog" because it was used to poison dogs (dog bane i.e. "dog killer"). The species name means "leaves of Androsaemum."

The ⅓ inch (8 millimeters) wide flowers of this plant have five petals that form a bell shape. They are pink with red patches inside. The top of a petal is spread out and is curved backward. This plant blooms from June to September.

The plant spreads over the local area as shown in the photograph below as the name indicates. It can grow to a height of four feet (120 centimeters). 

Spreading Dogbane Leaves

The leaves of the Spreading Dogbane are green, ovate, entire, from two to four inches (5 to 10 centimeters) long and arranged oppositely along reddish stems. 

Spreading Dogbane Leaves Detail

The fruit is a pod containing seeds with a tuft of hair attached to each seed allowing propagation by the wind. The seeds grow in twin seed pods from three to eight inches (seven to 20 centimeters) long and are released from the side of the pods at maturity.

The root system is a rhizome.

This plant is TOXIC.  Avoid contact with this plant. The stems and leaves may release a milky liquid that can produce skin blisters. Animals may die by consuming any part of this plant. The tough, inner bark was used by native Americans to make cords. These plants easily hybridize.

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