Habit: this perennial grows erect with many diffusing purplish stems, tough, fibrous bark and spreading by underground rhizomes. It grows rapidly, and should not be used in small spaces. Its dark green leaves appear as pointed ovals, 2-4 in (6-10 cm) long. The sweetly scented white to pink bell shaped flowers bloom in small clusters from the stem tips, petals distinctively curve backwards. Spreading dogbane blooms during June-August. Though the flowers are not showy, it is especially attractive in the fall with yellow leaves and reddish stems. Milky juice exudes from both broken stems and leaves.
Ecology: it is most common in dry and open forests, rocky hillsides, ridges and roadsides but can also be found in riparian zones. Spreading dogbane is located at elevations ranging from sea level to 11,000 feet (3,400 m). it often provides important cover in locations with sparse vegetation and is often found after a disturbance.
Growing Conditions: full sun, partial shade to shaded, dry rocky soils.
Deadly to some insects who can get trapped in the flower, although spreading dogbane is pollinated by honeybees. Spreading dogbane is considered to be toxic to humans and animals.