Ontario Weeds: Clasping-leaved dogbane
Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds, Order this publication
Table of Contents
- Other Names
- General Description
- Stems and Roots
- Flowers and Fruit
- Similar Species
- Related Links
Name: Clasping-leaved dogbane Apocynum
Other Names: apocyn a feuilles embrassantes, Indian hemp, Prairie dogbane, chanvre sauvage
Family: Dogbane Family (Apocynaceae)
General Description: Resembles both Spreading dogbane and Indian hemp and before flowering is easily confused with Common milkweed. Perennial from deeply penetrating and widely spreading coarse roots, these often 20-30cm (8-12in.) below the surface.
Clasping-leaved dogbane, showing deep perennial root from which 4 shoots emerged.
Clasping leaved dogbane. C. 3 shoots forma deep, coarse perennial root (dotted line represents ground surface), and leaves on lower portion of 1 shoot.
Stems & Roots: Stems coarse,
erect, up to 1m (40in.) tall, arising from buds on the roots; the
main stem with branches throughout its length, smooth and hairless,
green or with a slight pinkish cast.
Leaves: Leaves usually opposite but occasionally alternate, mostly sessile or with very short petioles (usually not more than 3-5mm, 1/8-1/5in. long), up to 5cm (2in.) wide and 12cm (4¾in.) long or sometimes larger, oblong to broadly elliptic with a somewhat abruptly pointed tip and a broadly rounded to heart-shaped base, smooth and hairless on both surfaces, the undersurface lighter green than the upper; the basal lobes of the larger leaves somewhat clasping the stem.
Flowers and Fruit: Inflorescence, flowers and seedpods similar to those of Spreading dogbane except that the calyx lobes of Clasping-leaved dogbane are narrow and 3-5 times longer than wide, and its corolla is white and usually only 3-6mm (1/8-¼in.) long. All parts of the plant contain milky juice. Flowers from July to September.
Habitat: Clasping-leaved dogbane is also a native plant with much the same distribution and abundance as Spreading dogbane
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