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Apocynum cannabinum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: ApocynaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub, tree, often vine; sap generally milky. Leaf: simple, alternate, opposite, subwhorled to whorled, entire; stipules 0 or small, finger-like. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, cyme, generally umbel- or raceme-like, or flowers 1--2. Flower: bisexual, radial; perianth parts, especially petals, overlapped, twisted to right or left, at least in bud; sepals generally 5, fused at base, often reflexed, persistent; petals generally 5, fused in basal +- 1/2; stamens generally 5, attached to corolla tube or throat, alternate lobes, free or fused to form filament column and anther head, filament column then generally with 5 free or fused, +- elaborate appendages abaxially, pollen +- free or removed in pairs of pollinia; nectaries 0 or near ovaries, then 2 or 5[10], or in stigmatic chambers; ovaries 2, superior or +- so, free [fused]; style tips, stigmas generally fused into massive pistil head. Fruit: 1--2 follicles, (capsule), [berry, drupe]. Seed: many, often with tuft of hairs at 1 or both ends.
Genera In Family: 200--450 genera, 3000--5000 species: all continents, especially tropics, subtropical South America, southern Africa; many ornamental (including Asclepias, Hoya, Nerium, Plumeria, Stapelia); cardiac glycosides, produced by some members formerly treated in Asclepiadaceae, used as arrow poisons, in medicine to control heart function, and by various insects for defense. Note: Asclepiadaceae ("asclepiads"), although monophyletic, included in Apocynaceae because otherwise the latter is paraphyletic. Complexity of floral structure, variation in asclepiads arguably greatest among all angiosperms. Pattern of carpel fusion (carpels free in ovule-bearing region, fused above), present +- throughout Apocynaceae (in broad sense), nearly unknown in other angiosperms. Base chromosome number generally 11; abundance of latex, generally small size of chromosomes evidently have impeded cytological investigations.
eFlora Treatment Author: Thomas J. Rosatti, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: ApocynumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, ascending or erect. Leaf: opposite. Inflorescence: generally cyme, >> 6-flowered. Flower: < 8 mm; corolla bell- or urn-shaped to cylindric, 5-lobed, with 5 triangular appendages alternate stamens; filaments free, attached at base of corolla tube, unappendaged, short, broad, anthers forming cone around and adherent to stigma, each partly sterile, sharply sagittate, pollen +- free; nectaries 5, free, around but not exceeding ovaries; ovaries free, not adherent, style +- 0, stigma massive, ovoid, obscurely 2-lobed. Fruit: slender, cylindric, pointed. Seed: with tuft of long hairs at 1 end.
Species In Genus: 7 species: North America. Etymology: (Greek: away from, dog, from ancient use as dog poison) Note: 2 geographically overlapped but ecologically different species in California, many hybrids between them, many of these named.
Unabridged Note: 2 geographically overlapped but ecologically different species in California, many hybrids between them. Of many names proposed for these, some (e.g., Apocynum androsaemifolium var. glabrum Macoun; Apocynum medium Greene var. floribundum (Greene) Woodson; Apocynum pumilum (Gray) Greene; Apocynum pumilum var. rhomboideum (Greene) Beg. & Bel.) applied to plants more like Apocynum androsaemifolium, others (e.g., Apocynum cannabinum var. glaberrimum A. DC.; Apocynum sibiricum Jacq. var. salignum (Greene) Fern.) to plants more like Apocynum cannabinum; none here accepted since extent of such subdivision +- limitless.
eFlora Treatment Author: Thomas J. Rosatti & Lauramay T. Dempster

Apocynum cannabinum L.
Stem: stout, +- stiff-erect, branched near top. Leaf: blade 5--8 cm, >> petiole, base tapered to cordate, clasping stem or not, tip obtuse to acute. Inflorescence: terminal, flowers in upper leaf axils 0. Flower: corolla 2.5--5 mm, cylindric to urn-shaped. Fruit: 6--9 cm, +- pendent. Chromosomes: 2n=16,22.
Ecology: Moist places, near streams, springs, or as weed in orchards; Elevation: 150--2000 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA (exc evidently NCo, CaRF, SNF, CCo, SCo, ChI); Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, eastern North America. Flowering Time: Apr--Oct
Synonyms: Apocynum cannabinum var. glaberrimum A.DC.; Apocynum oblongum Greene; Apocynum palustre Greene; Apocynum sibiricum Jacq. var. salignum (Greene) Fernald
Unabridged Note: Weed in orchards.
eFlora Treatment Author: Thomas J. Rosatti & Lauramay T. Dempster
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botanical illustration including Apocynum cannabinum


Citation for this treatment: Thomas J. Rosatti & Lauramay T. Dempster 2017. Apocynum cannabinum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 26, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 26, 2017.

Geographic subdivisions for Apocynum cannabinum:
CA (exc evidently NCo, CaRF, SNF, CCo, SCo, ChI);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.