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Common Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum L.)

Also known as Indianhemp.

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A rhizomatous perennial of sunny areas, often forming patches or colonies. A relative of milkweed and resembles it in multiple ways.

Range - Expand

Native or Not Present

This tentative map is based on our own research. It may have limited data on Canada and/or Mexico, and there is some subjectivity in our assignment of plants as introduced vs. expanded. Read more in this blog post.


Prefers full sun and wet conditions,, although it tolerates dry conditions, especially later in the growing season. Tolerates both acidic and alkaline soils, as well as sand, gravel, and clay. Favors disturbed ground, especially disturbed wet sites, including wet areas around roads and railroads, and disturbed wetlands. Intolerant of competition from other plants.

Life Cycle

A perennial spreading by long rhizomes, forming large colonies. New stems often arise as far as several feet from parent plants. Rhizomes are fairly deep under the soil.

Flowers in summer; requires cross-pollination to set seed. Flowers are followed by long, narrow pods of wind-dispersed seeds. Most seeds germinate immediately and do not persist long in the environment; some will germinate after a year but few to none after that. Germinates only in warm temperatures.

Cannot tolerate much competition from other plants, and usually will be eliminated in the absence of disturbance.

Apocynum cannabinum (Common Dogbane) | Illinois Wildflowers (About This Site)

Apocynum cannabinum (Common Dogbane) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Apocynum cannabinum | Go Botany (About This Site)

Hemp Dogbane | iNaturalist (About This Site)

Apocynum cannabinum (Indian Hemp) | Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder (About This Site)

Apocynum cannabinum | Biota of North America Project (BONAP) (About This Site)

Apocynum cannabinum | NatureServe Explorer (About This Site)

Indianhemp | Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) (About This Site)

Apocynum cannabinum | Missouri Plants (About This Site)

Indian Hemp | Maryland Biodiversity Project (About This Site)

Apocynum cannabinum (Indian Hemp) | Minnesota Wildflowers (About This Site)

Apocynum cannabinum L. (Indian Hemp, Hemp Dogbane) | Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora (About This Site)