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Apocynum androsaemifolium
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Apocynum
L. 1753

Apocynum, commonly known as Indian hemp, is a genus of the plant family of the Apocynaceae with seven species. Its name is from the Greek: apo, away and cyno,[2] attributed to its toxicity. The genus is native to North America, temperate Asia (China, Siberia, Kazakhstan, etc.), and SE Europe (Italy, Bulgaria, Ukraine, etc.).[1][3][4]

Apocynum species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including the mouse moth and the Queen butterfly.


Apocynum cannabinum was used as a source of fiber by Native Americans. Apocynum venetum (Chinese: 羅布麻) is used as an herbal tea in China.[5] Dogbane contains cymarin, a cardiotonic agent used to treat cardiac arrhythmia in humans.[6]


Almost 300 names have been proposed in the genus for species, subspecies, and forms. Only the following are currently recognized as species, with several subspecies and varieties accepted for A. androsaemifolium and A. venetum (see species pages).[1]

  1. Apocynum androsaemifolium L. 1753 not Forssk. 1775 – Canada, United States, NE Mexico
  2. Apocynum cannabinum L. – Canada, United States
  3. Apocynum × floribundum Greene (syn. A. × medium) – Canada, United States, N Mexico (A. androsaemifolium × A. cannabinum)
  4. Apocynum pictum Schrenk – China (Gansu, Qinghai, Xinjiang), Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan
  5. Apocynum venetum L. – Italy, Bulgaria, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Siberia, Central Asia, Iran, Iraq, Cyprus, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Japan


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