Indian Hemp (Apocymun cannabinum)

indian hemp 1

Other common names are Dogbane, Milkweed, Honeybloom, Bitter Root and Hemp Dogbane.

This perennial can reach four feet tall and is an excellent plant for your garden to attract butterflies.   It needs full sun with medium water requirements and it has white to green blooms that will appear during July and August.   It grows in colonies in the wild and can be invasive.  All Parts of Dogbane will exude a milky juice when bruised or broken.

The Cherokee used Indian Hemp to treat rheumatism and to make cough medicine, whopping cough treatment and to treat asthma.   A root infusion was used to treat kidney ailments.  Indian Hemp was harvested for fiber.  The stems were ut in the fall and then split open and the long fibers removed.   Fibers were twisted into string.   String, thread, rope, snares baskets, netting and clothing were made from help because they were silky and strong.  The fiber was very useful in making fishing and carrying nets, dip nets, an seines.

Indian Help can be found near the borders of woods, along paths, in clearings and in ditches.   It can be found in all of North America.

Please remember that all parts of this plant is considered poisonous by the USDA.

 

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