Apocynum cannabinum (Hemp Dogbane) [20 Seeds]

$3.95

Germination Information: I recommend these seeds for experienced seed-sowers only, because they may require some patience and experimentation. Most sources indicate that hemp dogbane seeds germinate best when sown, just covered with growing medium, in warm, bright conditions. A few, however, suggest planting outdoors in fall or winter, for sprouting when conditions are right in spring, and that’s what I suggest trying (at least with half of the packet) if you buy these seeds in fall to midwinter. In late winter through early summer, you might want to try sowing warm first, and if no seedlings appear in a month or so, then set the pot in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for about a month before moving it back to a warm, bright place. (Remove the bag if the pot will be exposed to any direct sun.)

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Description

Hemp dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum), also known as prairie dogbane and Indian hemp, produces slender, upright stems to about 4 feet tall, with near-white flowers in early to midsummer. They are followed by long, narrow seedpods that split in fall to release silky-tufted seeds. Native to almost every part of North America, this plant has a very interesting history as a fiber plant. (You can learn more about its fascinating traditional uses in this article: USDA Plant Guide.

Hemp dogbane is an excellent plant to grow if you want to support pollinators. Closely related to the milkweeds, it attracts many kind of bees, wasps, flies, and butterflies. Be aware, though, that it can be toxic to livestock when eaten. It also spreads vigorously by creeping rhizomes and can be aggressive, crowding out other species, so I don’t recommend it unless you have lots of space in a meadow setting (not in a garden border or near a pasture). Full sun. Perennial; Zones 3 to 10.

Collected in October 2020. Provenance is Bucks County, PA (seeds are from wild plants growing in my meadow). At least 20 seeds.

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