Transformational Gardening

Disclaimer: Foraging can be fun, rewarding and provide health benefits. As a novice forager, I will be sharing my foraging experiences. However, in order to be safe, always consult with local foraging experts and guidebooks before beginning foraging. Children should learn to forage safely by being guided by experienced adults. Never ingest anything unless you are certain of the identification and safety of the plant. Some plant species are inedible and some are poisonous.

Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium): Images

Date Location Notes Images
June 8, 2010 Southeastern, New Hampshire Spreading Dogbane is a 1 to 4 foot bushy plant with opposite leaves that are slightly drooping, smooth, ovate, untoothed (entire) and are 2 to 4 inches long. The stems are thin, round and pink to red. (The Common Milkweed stems are mostly green, squarish, and thick.) The flowers hang downwards and either cluster at the top and/or arise from the leaf axil. The little 3/8-inch wide flowers are mostly white with significant streaks of pink and have an inconspicuous dark yellow center. It flowers from June to August. Spreading Dogbane can be found along roadsides, fields and woodland borders.

A closely-related dogbane species is Indian Hemp ((Apocynum cannabinum). However, Indian Hemp has white to greenish-white flowers that cluster at the end of the main stem or main branches. Spreading Dogbane has pink and white flowers that cluster at the leaf axils or the end of the main stem or main branches. The flowers of Spreading Dogbane are larger than that of Indian Hemp. The leaves droop downwards slighly on the Spreading Dogbane, but do not droop on Indian Hemp. Indian Hemp is a more erect plant.

The dogbane and milkweed stalks can be collected in the late Fall after the stalks have dried to use for fibers to weave cord. The Wildwood Survival School has a summary on harvesting dogbane for cordage.
Date Location Notes Images
July 1, 2012 Southeastern, New Hampshire