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Uses

Toxic parts

All parts of the plant are poisonous[1][2][3][4]. It contains toxic cardioactive glycosides[5].

Edible uses

Notes

Seed - raw or cooked[6]. It can be ground into a powder and used as a meal[7]. A latex obtained from the plant is used as a chewing gum[8][7][9]. After the latex has been squeezed from the plant it s allowed to stand overnight to harden into a white gum[6]. The latex was sometimes mixed with clean clay[6].

Unknown part

Gum

Material uses

A very good quality fibre obtained from the bark is used for making clothes, twine, bags, linen, paper etc[1][10][8][11][7][12][13][6]. It is about 12 - 18mm long[13]. Very strong[14], it is used as a flax substitute[15], it does not shrink and it retains its strength in water[14]. The fibre is produced late in the season[16], it can be harvested after the leaves fall in autumn but is probably at its best as the seed pods are forming[17]. When making paper, the stems can be retted by leaving them in the ground until they are dry in the winter or they can be harvested in late summer, the leaves removed and the stems steamed to remove the fibre[13]. The stems are then cooked for two hours with lye and pounded with mallets[13]. The plant yields a latex which is a possible source of rubber[10][8][9]. The latex is also used as a chewing gum.

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Indian hemp is an unpleasantly bitter stimulant irritant herb that acts on the heart, respiratory and urinary systems, and also on the uterus[18]. It was much employed by various native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a wide variety of complaints including rheumatism, coughs, pox, whooping cough, asthma, internal parasites, diarrhoea and also to increase milk flow in lactating mothers[6]. The plant is still used in modern herbalism, but it should be used with great caution, and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner if taken internally[[2][5][18]. See the notes above on toxicity[2][5].

The root is cardiotonic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic and expectorant[2][10][8][7][18]. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[18]. The fresh root is the most active part medicinally. It has been used in the treatment of syphilis and as a tonic[19]. A weak tea made from the dried root has been used for cardiac diseases[19][5]. A tea made from the root has been used as a vermifuge[20].

The milky sap is a folk remedy for venereal warts[5].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in late summer and overwintered outdoors. The seed requires a period of cold stratification if it is to germinate well[18]. Prick out the seedlings when large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting out in late spring of the following year[K]. Division in spring just before active growth begins[21]. Plants can also be divided in the autumn[18].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Apocynum cannabinum. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Succeeds in sun or shade in most well-drained moist soils[17][18].

Plants can be invasive[21].

The young shoots of this plant are extremely attractive to slugs[K].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Apocynum cannabinum. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Apocynum cannabinum.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Apocynum cannabinum
Genus
Apocynum
Family
Apocynaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
4
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
permanent shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.2 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.4 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? Stary. F. Poisonous Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-35666-3 (1983-00-00)
    4. ? Elias. T. and Dykeman. P. A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants. Van Nostrand Reinhold ISBN 0442222009 (1982-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.5 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.46.56.66.7 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.57.6 Sweet. M. Common Edible and Useful Plants of the West. Naturegraph Co. ISBN 0-911010-54-8 (1962-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.58.6 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.3 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.4 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Balls. E. K. Early Uses of Californian Plants. University of California Press ISBN 0-520-00072-2 (1975-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Saunders. C. F. Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-23310-3 (1976-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.313.4 Bell. L. A. Plant Fibres for Papermaking. Liliaceae Press (1988-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.2 Turner. N. J. Plants in British Columbian Indian Technology. British Columbia Provincial Museum ISBN 0-7718-8117-7 (1979-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
    16. ? 16.016.1 Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains. University of New Mexico Press ISBN 0-8623-0343-9 (1967-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.117.2 Buchanan. R. A Weavers Garden. ()
    18. ? 18.018.118.218.318.418.518.618.7 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    19. ? 19.019.119.2 Coffey. T. The History and Folklore of North American Wild Flowers. Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-2624-6 (1993-00-00)
    20. ? 20.020.1 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
    21. ? 21.021.121.2 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    22. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-43

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