Hemp dogbane – Apocynum cannabinum

Hemp dogbane

Apocynum cannabinum L.
Apocynaceae (Dogbane family)

Life cycle

Erect, patch-forming perennial.


Opposite, narrow oval to egg-shaped, 2 to 5 inches long with smooth margins. The upper leaf surface is usually pale to bluish green and smooth; the lower leaf surface may be sparsely hairy. Leaves are smaller than those of common milkweed and exude a milky sap when damaged.


Erect, up to 6-foot-tall, slender, hairless, reddish stems are herbaceous and multibranched at the top and semiwoody at the base. Stems exude a milky sap when damaged.

Flowers and fruit

Small, white to greenish white, bell-shaped flowers are found in flat- to round-topped clusters. Fruit are 4- to 8-inch-long, narrow, reddish brown, sickle-shaped
capsules that usually occur in pairs. Pods split open at maturity to release small, spindle-shaped seeds, each with a tuft of long, silky hairs that aid in wind dissemination.


Seeds, creeping roots and rhizomes.

Field shot of hemp dogbane
Hemp dogbane flower
Hemp dogbane fruit
Hemp dogbane plant
Hemp dogbane leaf

For more information visit:

Plant & Pest Diagnostics

Other Documents in this Series

Accessibility Questions:

For questions about accessibility and/or if you need additional accommodations for a specific document, please send an email to ANR Communications & Marketing at anrcommunications@anr.msu.edu.

Michigan State University Michigan State University Close Menu button Menu and Search button Open Close