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Another common name for this plant is Indian Hemp, because native Amerindians obtained strong silky fibers from the stems. These fibers were used as twine in basketry, mats, netting, rope, and other artifacts. Some early French explorers remarked upon the abundance of this plant in the original prairie, which they referred to as 'hemp' in their writings. Common Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum) can be distinguished from a similar species, Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium), by its smaller flowers with more erect petals. The flowers are Spreading Dogbane are about 6-8 mm. long and similarly across; their petals are ascending, rather than erect, and the tips of their petals are recurved, rather than straight. Unlike Common Dogbane, Spreading Dogbane is typically found in upland habitats where the soil is more sandy and/or acidic. Return

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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