Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum)
Apocynaceae, or Dogbane, Family
Harvest stems after the leaves fall from the plant in fall if you wish to make twine from the fibers.
USDA Growing Zone(s): Dogbane grows well in zones 4-8.
Dogbane is a perennial herb native to North America with small cream-colored flowers and green or purplish stems. It prefers full sun and can tolerate both wet soil conditions in spring and dryer soil conditions in summer.
The plant can spread through underground rhizomes, so plant it in a place where it can spread or plan on maintaining its underground growth. Dogbane attracts a variety of insects due to its nectarous flowers.
Historically, it was used to treat conditions of the heart, respiratory, and urinary systems, as well as rheumatism, pox, asthma, diarrhea, and more.
Stories & Traditions
The name Dogbane is in reference to its toxic characteristics; much of the plant is considered poisonous to people and dogs. Dogbane is also known as Indian Hemp because some indigenous tribes used the stem fibers to create a thread for sewing, as well as making twine, clothing, nets, and bowstrings.
This content is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or a substitute for medical treatment. Please consult your medical care provider before using herbal medicine.