Common Names

The spreading dogbane is also called honey-bloom, bitter root, wandering milkweed, wild ipecac, rheumatism-weed.

Plate XXXI.

Spreading Dogbane

Photo - F. Fyles.

Spreading Dogbane.


The spreading dogbane is a perennial herb from two to three feet high, rich in milk-sap, with a smooth stem usually red on one side and with spreading branches. The leaves are opposite, short-stalked, oval, acute, entire, two to three inches long. The flowers are small, pale rose, somewhat striped, open bell-shaped, in loose cymes, the corolla tube much longer than the calyx, with spreading lobes, sweet-scented towards evening. The fruit consists of two slender pods, four to six inches long. The seeds are numerous, with a tuft of white silky down at one end. The plant is in bloom during June and July.


It is found commonly in fields and thickets, and open woods from Anticosti to British Columbia.

Poisonous Properties

See the following species.