Apocynaceae is a family of dicotyledonous shrubs or plants, having about 130 genera and 1,100 species worldwide, mostly tropical, many with poisonous milky juice. Members of this family are perennial plants with simple, opposite leaves. The 5-lobed corolla forms a substantial tube, with 5 alternating stamens attached to the tube. The 5-lobed calyx is often separated almost to the base, and the single-style pistil is usually free or almost free from the calyx. The leaves are opposite. The fruits are long, hanging pods in pairs with many seeds inside, often with a hair tuft on one end. As the 2-segment fruit develops, it splits apart to form separate pods that open after drying. Some species have a milky sap that can be toxic. The fibrous stems of A. cannabinum were used by Native Americans for making ropes and cords.
Guide to Identify Presented Species of the Dogbane Family
LEAVES MOSTLY HANGING
Apocynum androsaemifolium Spreading Dogbane Plant with milky sap, 20-70 cm tall. Flowers pink or white with pink veins, 4-12 mm long, in open clusters. Leaves opposite, spreading to hanging, egg-shaped to oblong, sharp-pointed. Dry areas, plains-subalpine.
Alphabetical listing with links to presented species of the Dogbane family: