Hemp dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum
) is a perennial herb of the Dogbane (Apocynaceae) family. Attributes of hemp dogbane include:
- Flowers: Panicles of small, white, flat-headed to dome-shaped, 5-petaled flowers spanning 1 to 3 inches in diameter terminate from the upper stems and some lateral stems. The flower petals are ovate to oval in shape and have a sweet fragrant. The flowers will bloom for about 1 month during the summer.
- Stems: Light green to red, terete, glabrous, and sometimes glaucous; contain a milky latex.
- Leaves: Pairs of opposite leaves that are 1 to 3 inches in length develop along the stems. Each leaf is broadly elliptic to broadly elliptic-oblong in shape, with smooth margins. The upper portion of the leaves are medium green to yellowish green and glabrous. The lower portion of the leaf is light green and glabrous, sometimes glaucous. The leaf venation is pinnate. The leaves also contain a milky latex.
- Fruits: 4 to 8 in long, narrowly cyclindrically-shaped, dark brown follicles (seedpods that open along one side) develop which will eventually split open to release the numerous seeds into the wind.
- Roots: It has a long-rhizomatous root system, which often produces clonal colonies of plants.
Hemp dogbane contains toxic cyanogenic glycosides, which are toxic to horses if ingested.