Paleotechnics: Dogbane, Apocynum cannabinum, page and photo index

PALEOTECHNICS

DOGBANE

Dogbane, Apocynum cannabinum, also known as Indian Hemp, is an herbaceous perennial plant, native to North America used for making cordage. The stalks are harvested after they die down in the winter and stored until needed. The plant grows new stalks the following year. The very fine, soft, red fiber comprises most of the inner bark layer. The tensile strength is comparable to flax and linen.

Dogbane prefers areas with a high water table and patches are frequently found growing in creeks and along the banks, in damp ditches, vernal pool areas and so on... The range is widespread in the United States and Canada, but in many areas it is not prolific and will be found only here and there. Wherever it is found it was, or is, used by local native people to make string, nets, ropes, and even baskets and fabric.

Dogbane is a digitalis like heart stimulant and
has no relation to Cannabis Hemp, which is also sometimes called Indian Hemp.

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