Apocynum sibiricum (Clasping Dogbane)
|Also known as:||Prairie Dogbane|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; moist soil, ditches, along roads, prairies|
|Bloom season:||June - August|
|Plant height:||1 to 4 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Clusters of ¼-inch or smaller tubular or bell-shaped flowers. Individual flowers have 5 white, greenish or yellowish petals, fused at the base, the lobes erect or flaring. One plant usually has several clusters, at the top of the plant and at the end of branching stems in the upper part of the plant. The center, terminal flowers in the cluster open first. The clusters start out round then spread out to a broader, more flattened cluster.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are generally oval with a sharply pointed tip, rounded or heart-shaped at the base, 2 to 6 inches long and to 2½ inches wide with smooth edges and white or cream colored veins. Leaves are mostly stalkless or with a minute stalk (especially on upper leaves), usually clasping the stem with the rounded leaf bases overlapping on the leaf pairs. The underside of the leaves is sometimes slightly hairy. Stems are typically hairless and reddish brown and exude a milky sap when broken The leaves and stem can have a waxy feel to them.
Notes:Clasping Dogbane and the related Indian Hemp (Apocynum cannabinum) are very similar, the only noticeable difference is the latter typically has longer stalked leaves (but not always!). Clasping Dogbane may also grow up to 4 feet tall but is often 2 to 3 feet. In some references, Apocynum sibiricum is considered the same species as Apocynum cannabinum, but Flora of North America, our definitive reference, treats them as separate species.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake Regional Park, New Brighton. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Polk, Douglas and Anoka counties.
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