Spreading dogbane, American ipecac, bitter dogbane, bitter-root, black Indian hemp, catch fly, colicroot, common dog’s-bane, dogbane, fly trap, honey bloom, Indian hemp, milk ipecac, milkweed, rheumatism wood, wandering milkweed, western wallflower, wild ipecac.
A perennial that grows to 3 to 6 feet in height, and is widely spread from horizontal rootstock. Leaves opposite, nearly sessile. Flowers large, oval, and whitish. The pods are double, 4 to 6 inches long, and slender. The plant produces a milky juice.
June to August.
Open woods, roadside banks, meadows, thickets, and stream banks.
Roots and rhizomes in late fall.
This plant, which is extremely poisonous, is a cardioactive drug. It has been used also as a tonic, diuretic, and purgative.