Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.
Search native plant database:
Apocynum androsaemifolium L.
Spreading dogbane, Bitterroot, Flytrap dogbane
Synonym(s): Apocynum ambigens, Apocynum androsaemifolium ssp. pumilum, Apocynum androsaemifolium var. glabrum, Apocynum androsaemifolium var. griseum, Apocynum androsaemifolium var. incanum, Apocynum androsaemifolium var. intermedium, Apocynum androsaemifolium var. pumilum, Apocynum androsaemifolium var. tomentellum, Apocynum androsaemifolium var. woodsonii, Apocynum pumilum, Apocynum pumilum var. rhomboideum, Apocynum scopulorum
USDA Symbol: apan2
A 2-5 ft. widely branching, bushy, perennial with opposite, oval leaves and small groups of tiny, pink, bell-shaped flowers near the branch tips. The flowers’ fragrance is reminiscent of lilac. Numerous small pink, nodding, bell-like flowers, fragrant and striped inside with deeper pink. Milky juice exudes from broken stems and leaves.
These plants are relatives of the milkweeds. Indian Hemp (A. cannabinum), a slightly smaller species with erect clusters of greenish-white flowers, is also found in fields and is poisonous. Clasping-leaved Dogbane (A. sibiricum), found widely throughout the Northeast in sandy or gravelly habitats such as stream banks, has stalkless or nearly stalkless leaves.
Once thought to be a larval food for Monarch butterflies, research has shown that while adult female Monarchs will occasionally oviposit on this species, their offspring will not mature on it.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Root Type: Tap Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Shape: Ovate Leaf Venation: Pinnate Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous Leaf Apex: Acute Leaf Base:
Rounded Breeding System:
Flowers Bisexual Flower:
Flowers 5-7 mm long.
15 cm. Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
, WY Canada: AB
, SK Native Distribution:
Nf. to B.C., s. to GA
mts. & AZ Native Habitat:
Forest, Woodland, Forest Edge, Prairie, Meadow, Field
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy or gravelly soils.
Conditions Comments: Spreads so rapidly from creeping underground stems that it should not be used in small garden settings.
Bees Use Other:
Women of some tribes rolled dogbane stem
fibres on their legs to make fine thread, said to be finer and stronger than the best cotton thread. It was used for sewing and for making twine, nets, fabric and bowstrings. Warning:
The poisonous, acrid sap
was said to stimulate hair growth by irritating the follicles, but people with sensitive skin are more likely to develop blisters than hair. (Kershaw) Conspicuous Flowers:
Butterflies Nectar Source:
PropagationDescription: Not Available
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
- Johnstown, PANative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2013-09-03
Research By: TWC Staff