Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Spreading Dogbane - Apocynum androsaemifolium   L.
Members of Apocynaceae:
Members of Apocynum with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Gentianales » Family Apocynaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
DistributionEssentially throughout the Mountains, and eastward into western Piedmont foothills ranges.

This species has an extremely wide range, from coast to coast. It is a Northern species ranging south down the Appalachians to northern GA and AL.
AbundanceFairly common in the Mountains. Very rare in the Piedmont foothills.
HabitatThis is a species of full sun to partial sun, in mesic to fairly rich soils. It is usually seen in overgrown fields, woodland borders, roadbanks, and shrubby thickets. It is considered an early-succession species in the mountains, invading abandoned fields after a handful of years.
PhenologyBlooms from June to August, and fruits from September to October.
IdentificationThis is an herbaceous species but with a bushy appearance owing to wide-spreading branches, and thus plants are often wider than tall. It grows to about 2-3 feet tall. It has numerous opposite, sessile leaves, each elliptic to slightly ovate, about 2-2.5 inches long and about 1.5 inches wide. The flowers are in loose clusters on 1-2-inch-long stalks from upper leaf axils and branch tips. Each flower is like a very small bell, with recurved petals, only about 1/5-inch long or broad, but are very light pink, striped inside with dark rose, and very fragrant. As each plant has numerous of these clusters in bloom, over a wide and bushy crown, the overall effect is a bush aglow with a soft pink color. The flowers are great attractants for insects, such as bees and butterflies. In fall, the paired long and very narrow pods are very conspicuous. This species is not as common as might be expected because its habitat is so abundant, but it is still frequent over its range in the mountains, even if not seen daily.
Taxonomic CommentsDespite its huge range, Weakley (2018) does not list varieties or subspecies for it.

Other Common Name(s)Fly-trap Dogbane, Bitter Dogbane
State RankS3S4
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpUPL link
USACE-empFACU link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Select a source
Select an occurrence type