The Monarch Joint Venture (MJV) is a partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, businesses and academic programs It is a member of the Dogbane (Apocynum) family.Spreading Dogbane is one of three species of Apocynum that occur in the Adirondacks. Milkweed vs. Dogbane 'Many people (including entomologists) have mistakenly given dogbane to their caterpillars only to watch them starve to death. I cannot post pictures here. When mature, the dogbane stem branches in the upper portion of the plant. Here's a few ways they're similar, and how to tell them apart. Common milkweed has green stems while dogbane has red stems. I mentioned that I had spotted something that looked like milkweed in my pasture. Similarities: Both plants have milky sap if you break off a leaf, and their growth pattern is very similar. Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium) is an Adirondack wildflower which sports clusters of fragrant, bell-shaped pink flowers from mid-June to mid-August. It is terribly bitter to taste, a warning sign in any plant that a human or animal may try to consume. - Jeremiah v. 26. Milkweed plants (asclepias) are bigger than dogbane and their leaves are broader. Were it possible for readers to post photos, I would post mine that shows Flowers June to July. Large butterflies, like spangled fritillaries, can sit on milkweed flower, and still most of the flower is visible. Common milkweed flowers are pinkish, large and ball shaped, whereas dogbane flowers are whitish green and in small clusters. Both have simple, opposite, untoothed oval leaves with a strong midvein, and look similar at a glance. The can  be purple, pink or orange, depending on the variety. Young dogbane plants look very much like milkweed in terms of leaf… Both plants belong to the family Apocynaceae. Apocynaceae (from Apocynum, Greek for "dog-away") is a family of flowering plants that includes trees, shrubs, herbs, stem succulents, and vines, commonly known as the dogbane family, because some taxa were used as dog poison. Dogbane has more of a reddish stem when mature and develops many branches. Before I really started learning about Common milkweed I was always fooled by dogbane. Some of these species are exotics (not native to Montana) and some species have been designated as Species of Concern. There is a slight reddish tinge to the vein that runs through the middle of the leaf, dividing it in two. Indian Dogbane Apocynum cannabinum (Indian Hemp) Widespread but not particularly common in a wide range of open or semi-shaded habitats, both ... Common Milkweed Asclepias syriaca A fairly common plant of old fields, roadsides and other grassy, open sites. In contrast milkweed flowers are more colorful. Your plant has green stems, so I suspect it is milkweed, not dogbane. The generalization of these observations to the two genera is invalid. I am excited to learn more about the dogbane plant. Views: 4421, Replies: 18 » Jump to the end. Milkweed and hemp dogbane are very aggressive perennials that are difficult to control. The story of the trap-setting and insect-eating plants is a more than twice-told tale. Both have opposite and oval shaped leaves. Apocynum means “poisonous to dogs”. Would you be interested in submitting a guest article on this subject with photos? Thanks, Kathy! Members of the family are native to the European, Asian, African, Australian, and American tropics or subtropics, with some temperate members. There is a slight reddish tinge to the vein that runs through the middle of the leaf, dividing it in two. There are actually over 140 species of milkweed plants that collectively make up the genus Asclepias. Dogbane vs. Milkweed shoots While dogbane has practical uses in making cording, it is not an edible shoot, and contains cardiac glycosides, toxins that affect the heart. Of course, those are composite flowers we are looking at. Apocynum cannabinum If you’re trying to identify this plant for the first time, you might reasonably assume it is a kind of milkweed. I have been able to positively identify dogbane, growing near Lake Monona, in Yahara Park, located here in Madison, Wisconsin. Great tutorial and pictures to help distinguish the difference between dogbane and milkweed, Aya! Dogbane and milkweed are placed within the same family of plants (the dogbane family — Apocynaceae), and both plants share similar features. The seedlings of common milkweed and hemp dogbane ger­minate initially from seeds, but once the plants are established, they can emerge from adventitious buds on creeping roots or rhizomes. 2161 University Ave W. Here are some tips for telling them apart. However, care must be taken so as not to confuse milkweed with dogbane (Apocynum sp). You could have a byline that links to your own botanical blog, if you have one. The flowers also look quite different. Dogbane And Milkweed. Now there’s a project for the The Feast Before Us! Dogbane, dog-bane, dog's bane, [citation needed] and other variations, some of them regional and some transient, are names for certain plants that are reputed to kill or repel dogs; "bane" originally meant "slayer", and was later applied to plants to indicate that they were poisonous to particular creatures. The dogbane flowers, when they open, are usually white. The flowers typically have a flatter, disc-like arrangement, whereas the flowers on milkweed are arranged in a spherical pattern. Dogbane is a milkweed relative—they are in the same Family— but in different genera (Apocynum vs Asclepias). Milkweed and hemp dogbane are very aggressive perennials that are difficult to control. All rights reserved. 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