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Wildflower Wednesday

This week's Wildflower Wednesday featured flower is Spreading Dogbane.

Spreading Dogbane is a native wildflower found in prairies and woodlands. It blooms June – Aug and produces small bell-shaped white and pink flowers that have a sweet smell. After flowering it produces long slender seed pods.

Although it is a native plant it is considered a weedy or nuisance plant.

The name Dogbane is a reference to the toxic nature of the plant. Bees and insects love it but it is highly toxic to dogs (all mammals).

Inside its leaves and stem is a sticky, milky white sap. This sap contains cardiac glycosides that are highly toxic to humans. Just touching the sap can cause blisters. If consumed it can cause rapid pulse, gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, hallucinations, cold sweats, progressive weakness, and convulsions.

Native Americans used its hemp-like fibers to make thread and cordage and as a charm to protect against "bad medicine" or evil influence.


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