Hemp Dogbane, Common Dogbane
Synonyms: Apocynum cannabinum var. angustifolium, Apocynum cannabinum var. glaberrimum, Apocynum cannabinum var. greeneanum, Apocynum cannabinum var. hypericifolium, Apocynum cannabinum var. nemorale, Apocynum cannabinum var. pubescens, Apocynum cannabinum var. suksdorfii, Apocynum hypericifolium, Apocynum pubescens, Apocynum sibiricum, Apocynum sibiricum var. cordigerum, Apocynum sibiricum var. farwellii, Apocynum sibiricum var. salignum, Apocynum suksdorfii, Apocynum suksdorfii var. angustifolium
The photo above shows a close-up of the flowers
of hemp dogbane. Photographed along lower Crab Creek to the north of the Saddle Mts in central Washington........June 22, 2006.
photo at right shows the upright nature of the stems of hemp dogbane and the short
petioles on the upper leaves. Photographed on slopes above the North Fork of the
Sun River, Montana........July 31, 1999.
Hemp dogbane, also known as common dogbane is an erect perennial
wildflower with simple, branched stems ranging from 30-100 cm high. The herbage
is generally glabrous, although occasionally it may be hairy. The leaves are
opposite with the lower stem leaves subsessile to sessile and the upper leaves
with distinct petioles. The leaves are often a yellowish-green color and are
ascending to erect. They are oblong-ovate to oblong-lanceolate or even lanceolate
in shape, and range from 5-11 cm long.
The inflorescence is either a terminal or lateral
cyme. The whitish to greenish-white flowers are 2-4 mm long with short tubes
and 5 lobes, each of which is lanceolate to oblong-oblanceolate with pointed
tips. The corolla lobes are somewhat spreading as seen in the photo above. The
5 calyx lobes range from about half to nearly equal to the length of the corolla.
The fruits are long, thin, somewhat sickle-shaped follicles, ranging from 12-18
cm long. The follicles droop.
Hemp dogbane was an important source of cordage for Native Americans.
Dogbanes are generally poisonous and not safe for human consumption.
Hemp dogbane is similar in appearance to clasping-leaved dogbane
(Indian hemp), Apocynum sibiricum. The latter species can be most reliably
distinguished from the former as all of its leaves have clasping bases.
A pair of leaves from midstem on hemp dogbane.
The petioles at the bases of the leaves are very short. Photographed at about
2000' along the Dalles Mt. Road, Columbia River Gorge........June 16, 2002.
Hemp dogbane is often found near springs, seeps, river banks,
and roadside ditches.
Hemp dogbane may be found across much of Canada and the United
In the Columbia River Gorge it may be found between the elevations
of 0'-300' from near Cape Horn east towards Biggs Junction, OR.
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Additional close-ups of the inflorescence and leaves of hemp dogbane. Photographed along the western shoreline of the Deschutes River about one-halfmile upstream from the Columbia River........July 27, 2011.
Hemp dogbane as seen along the Columbia River shoreline at Pierce National Wildlife Refuge...........September 27, 2014.
Close-ups of the inflorescence of hemp dogbane.
Photographed at about 2000' along the Dalles Mt. Road, Columbia River Gorge.........June