Apocynum cannabinum L.
hemp (common dogbane; Indianhemp)
Apocynaceae (Dogbane family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Réal Sarrazin     (Photo ID #26852)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Apocynum cannabinum
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from a rhizome; stems erect to spreading, glabrous, 0.3-1.0 m tall, branching; plants with milky juice.
Opposite, stalked to subsessile or sessile, oblong-egg-shaped or lanceolate, yellow-green, 5-11 cm long, except sometimes the basal leaves stalked but not heart-shaped at the base, ascending.
Inflorescence of compound, flat-topped clusters; corollas greenish-white to white, 2-4.5 mm long, the corollas less than twice as long as calyx, lobes erect or slightly spreading.
Long cylindric pods, usually greater than 12-18 cm long, sickle-shaped; seeds with tufts of cottony hairs (coma) 2-3 cm long.
The recognition of A. sibiricum and its segregates does not appear warranted.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: White
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Apocynum cannabinum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
613 279 1290
Slope Gradient (%)
20 0 67

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

185 104 265
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 1 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

BG(11), ICH(5), IDF(8), MS(1), PP(3)

Habitat and Range

Dry roadsides, ditches, pond and lake edges, fields, waste areas, shrublands and forest openings in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent in BC south of 55degreeN; N to NT, E to NF and S to FL, TX and CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Apocynum cannabinum var. angustifolium (Woot.) N.H. Holmgren
Apocynum cannabinum var. glaberrimum A. DC.
Apocynum cannabinum var. greeneanum (Bég. & Beloserky) Woodson
Apocynum cannabinum var. hypericifolium (Aiton) A. Gray
Apocynum cannabinum var. nemorale (G.S. Mill.) Fernald
Apocynum cannabinum var. pubescens (Mitchell ex R. Br.) Woodson
Apocynum cannabinum var. suksdorfii (Greene) Bég. & Beloserky
Apocynum hypericifolium Aiton
Apocynum pubescens Mitchell ex R. Br.
Apocynum sibiricum Jacq.
Apocynum sibiricum var. cordigerum (Greene) Fernald
Apocynum sibiricum var. farwellii (Greene) Fernald
Apocynum sibiricum var. salignum (Greene) Fernald
Apocynum suksdorfii Greene
Apocynum suksdorfii var. angustifolium (Woot.) Woodson