Apocynum cannabinum

Indian Hemp

Plant Type: Perennial
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Medium, Well-draining
Water: Moist, Regular
Height X Width: 4' X 6'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
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Indian hemp is one of the few California native plants with a widespread distribution outside the state. It thrives in every US state, nearly all the provinces of Canada and in northern Mexico. Not surprising, it is also found in every California County. Following winter dormancy, during which the plant will die back to the ground, indian hemp grows as an open thicket of single upright stems with dark green, oval leaves oppositely arranged. White flowers appear in summer, which support a variety of pollinators when little else is blooming. The common names for this unusual plant underline two notable characteristics: “dogbane” warns us that this plant is quite poisonous, “indian hemp” derives from the fine fibers that may be harvested from dry stems to produce a useful textile, like hemp. Plant indian hemp in partial shade and well-draining soil where it may be allowed to spread via seed and rhizome.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen