Apocynaceae2017-08-17T06:53:10+00:00

  Apocynaceae: Dogbane Family

Spreading / Bitter Dogbane – Apocynum androsaemifolium

Blooms:

Mar–Oct

Plant Height:

16–30 cm

Flower Size:

Small

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Dry flats & rocky slopes above 1000 m

Notes:

A low-growing plant with stems diffusely branched and with milky sap. The drooping leaves have smooth margins and appear as pointed ovals. The flowers are in small terminal clusters, pink or whitish with pink stripes with 5 stamens. Pedicels are 4 mm and the bell-shaped corolla with its noticeably recurved lobes is 3 x as long as the calyx. The plant is poisonous.

Indian Milkweed – Asclepias eriocarpa

Blooms:

May–Oct

Plant Height:

40–80  cm

Flower Size:

Large cluster

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Dry, barren places

Notes:

Distinctive pale gray, felty leaves and long stems with dense clusters of small flowers, typically pink but may be white or purplish. Flowers are very distinctive with reflexed petals and 5 hood-like appendages, each with a small projecting horn at the top. The fruit is large and greenish-yellow. Leaves are opposite or whorled in 3s or 4s. Milkweeds are a favored food source for Monarch Butterflies. The plant is toxic.

Narrow-leaved Milkweed – Asclepias fascicularis

Blooms:

May–Oct

Plant Height:

40–80 cm

Flower Size:

Large cluster

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Dry ground in valleys & foothills

Notes:

Flowers are similar to those of Indian Milkweed (Asclepias eriocarpa) except that the appendages are more cup shaped than hooded and the horn is strongly exserted. Petals are green-white with a purplish tinge. Leaves are narrow, glabrous and opposite or whorled in 3s or 5s. There are often smaller leaves in the axils. Fruits are erect, long and narrow.

Periwinkle – Vinca major

Blooms:

May–June (Jan)

Stems:

Trailing

Flower Size:

Medium

Origin:

Europe

Invasive?

Yes – Moderate

Habitat:

Generally sheltered places

Notes:

A garden escapee.  It has distinctive bluish-purple flowers and a sprawling growth habit with its arching stems rooting at the tips. It spreads very aggressively.