Flowers: in terminal cymes; growing on thread-like flower-stalks. Calyx: five-cleft. Corolla: bell-shaped; five-lobed, and veined with a deeper pink. Stamens: five. Ovaries: united by an ovate stigma. Pods: large; long; slender. Leaves: opposite; ovate. An herb two to eight feet high; forked; branching. Juice: milk white; sticky.
Truly it is the poets and botanists who are mostly alive to the loveliness of the wildings of nature; and we ever find them singing their praises to the exclusion of their more pretentious sisters that are under the gardener's care.
The tiny blossoms of the spreading dogbane remind us of the bells of the lily-of-the-valley; but they have a delicate rose tint, and are exquisitely veined with a deeper colour. This is probably to let the bee know of their five glands of sweet nectar.
The plant was formerly thought to be poisonous to dogs.