© 2005 Saint John's Arboretum
A. a. var.androsaemifolium
A. a. var.ambigens (Greene) Rydberg 
A. a. var. incanum DC [64,137]
A. a. var. pumilum Gray [75,77,98,137,191]
A. a. var. glabrum Macoun [64,77,105,174]
A. a. var. griseum (Greene) Beg. & Bel. 
Hybrids: Hybridization is common within the genus Apocynum [6,39]. Spreading dogbane
commonly hybridizes with Indian hemp (A. cannabinum) to produce intermediate dogbane
(Apocynum × medium Greene) [23,61,113,137,189,191]. Sources which recognize intermediate
dogbane as a separate variety include [75,87,98,167,200].
FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS:
© Mike Baker @ www.mikebaker.com
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS:
This description provides characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology, and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available [22,42,43,60,61,64,73, 74,75,86,98,113,127,128,167,190,191,200].
Spreading dogbane is a native perennial that can grow to 40 inches (100 cm) in height . Stems are erect and diffusely branched, glabrous, and lack a central axis [73,86,98,116,191]. Leaves are opposite, spreading or drooping, glabrous above and pubescent beneath. Leaf size ranges from 0.4 to 5 inches (1-12 cm) in length and 0.2 to 2 inches (0.5-6 cm) in width [64,81,98,189,190,191].
The flowers of spreading dogbane are erect or nodding and small, 0.2 to 0.3 inch (6-8 mm) long [127,147]. The corolla is typically 0.2 to 0.5 inch (4-12 mm) long, broadly campanulate, and approximately 3 times the length of the calyx [61,64]. Spreading dogbane follicles are 1.6 to 6 inches (4-15 cm) long and pendulous or erect when mature [116,191]. Epidermal hair around the head of the stigma ensures that pollen is not lost . Seeds are numerous, 2 to 3 mm long with a 0.4 to 0.8 inch (1-2 cm) long coma [60,64,70].
Spreading dogbane has rhizomes that have been detected to depths of greater than 10 inches (25 cm) and are located primarily in mineral soil .
Intermediate dogbane can grow to 40 inches (100 cm) in height . It produces progeny with low pollen fertility  and can appear identical to either of the parent species, spreading dogbane or Indian hemp .
The inflorescence of A. a. var. pumilum is often larger and the corolla more tubular
than that of spreading dogbane
RAUNKIAER  LIFE FORM:
Spreading dogbane reproduces vegetatively and by seed . Vegetative reproduction is through rhizomes . Flowering and reproductive success is negatively effected by exposure to ambient ozone .
Pollination: Spreading dogbane is insect and self-pollinated . Insects transfer pollen from the anther to the stigma upon withdrawal of the proboscis. Cross-pollination occurs when pollen remains adhered to the proboscis and is transferred to the stigma of another flower .
In Colorado, approximately 71 species of insect were recorded visiting spreading dogbane over a 15-hour period. None had detectable amounts of pollen from Apocynum spp. plants . A study in South Dakota concluded that behavior of 2 bumblebee species was determined by the density of spreading dogbane plants and availability of alternative food sources .
Breeding system: No information is available on this topic.
Seed production: Spreading dogbane produces "numerous" seeds [39,116,127].
Seed dispersal: Spreading dogbane seed is wind dispersed [4,159,161,180].
Seed banking: There is no indication that spreading dogbane stores its seed in soil [158,159,160,161].
Germination: Germination requirements for spreading dogbane are not well known . Seed collected from the prairies of Wisconsin in 1946 had 56% germination rates when stratified for 2 months and 36% germination rates when not stratified. The seed was planted in flats and exposed to temperatures of 65to 70 ºF (18-21 ºC) for 2 months before being stratified outdoors or kept indoors at 40 ºF (4 ºC) for 2 to 3 months .
In a study to determine the viability of seeds after submersion in water with temperatures ranging from 33 to 81 ºF (0.5-27 ºC), most spreading dogbane seeds either germinated and/or deteriorated in the first 3 months of submersion. Those that remained firm had germination rates ranging from <1% to 8% following 3 to 24 months of water submersion while germination rates for seed that was not submerged ranged from 53% to 91%. None of the seeds germinated after 36 or more months of submersion :
Months after test initiated
% of firm seeds
% germination of fresh-water stored seeds
% germination of dry stored seeds
Apocynum spp. are able to germinate on newly-burned soil .
Seedling establishment/growth: No information is available on this topic.
Asexual reproduction of spreading dogbane is attained through rhizomatous sprouts
[9,161]. Sprouting from rhizomes has also been observed following disturbance
Spreading dogbane has a broad distribution encompassing a wide variety of site characteristics. It is most common in dry, open areas , but can also be found in riparian zones  and shady, moist areas with clayey soils . Spreading dogbane is located at elevations ranging from sea level to 11,000 feet (3,400 m)  with temperatures ranging from 18 to 90 ºF (-8 to 32 ºC) [1,107], and pH levels of 5.0 to 7.7 [41,88]. Additional site characteristics for spreading dogbane are provided in the table below:
|Location description||Elevation range||Precipitation range|
|Alaska||woods and hot springs |
|Arizona||open pine forests ||7,000 to 9,000 feet (2,000-3,000 m) |
|California||dry, open slopes and flats ||700 to 9,000 feet (200-3,000 m) [73,116]||north-central: 68 inches (1,700 mm) annually |
|Colorado||open woods; gravelly soils [189,190]
shallow, coarse loam soil of igneous or metamorphic parent material; south aspects 
|Idaho||well-drained soils in hot, dry areas 
silty loam soils covered by a 6 to 30 inch (15-80 cm) loess mantle 
rocky, sandy, and silty areas 
|3,000 to 4,300 feet (900-1,300 m) ||40 to 60 inches (1,000-1,500 mm) annually |
|Michigan||disturbed mesic sites ||northern: 30 inches (770 mm) of rainfall annually, 70 inches (1,800 mm) of snowfall annually |
|Minnesota||clay or sandy soils; fine sandy loams; clayey till |
|Montana||riparian zones 
dry valley and montane sites; lower sub-alpine sites 
wooded or dry, open areas in the foothills 
|Nevada||dry mountains and meadows, open road banks |
|New York||open fields and roadsides ||200 to 3,500 feet (60-1,100 m) |
|North Carolina||mountains, open woods and meadows, and roadside banks |
|Oregon||soils formed from sandy alluvium and pumice flow
well-drained soils, 25 to 30 inches (60-80 cm) in depth; 5% to 25% slopes 
|4,900 to 6,500 feet (1,500-2,000 m) |
|South Dakota||clay and loam soils derived from limestone
mesic, xeric, and transitional sites 
shallow to moderately deep soils derived from metamorphic rock 
|4,900 to 5,900 feet (1,500-1,800 m) [119,183]||24 inches (600 mm) annually |
|Tennessee||limestone soils ||southern: 134 inches (3400 mm) annually |
|Utah||open slopes ||1,500 to 3,400 feet (460-1,000 m) ||northern: 16 inches (410 mm) annually |
|Washington||deep sandy loam soil; 20% to 40% slopes 
deep, coarse soils; eastern aspect; steep topography 
mostly dry soils; valleys and foothills to sub-alpine slopes 
|2,000 to 5,200 feet (600-1,600 m) ||eastern: Infrequent summer
precipitation; snow accumulations of 40 to 80 inches (1,000-2,000 mm)
north-central: 22 inches (560 mm) annually 
central: 18 inches (460 mm) annually 
|West Virginia||high flood plains |
|Wisconsin||fine sands approximately 8 inches (20 cm)
thick, underlain by sandstone rock 
clay or sandy soils; fine sandy loams; clayey till 
|Wyoming||shallow to moderately deep soils derived from metamorphic rock ||5,200 to 5,900 feet (1,600-1,800 m) ||24 inches (600 mm) annually |
|British Columbia||poorly developed soils on south and west
dry sites with limited nutrient availability 
|Manitoba||sandy soil types |
|Ontario||limestone bedrock overlain by thin soils;
predominantly loam soils 
sandy to clayey soils bordering forested lands 
|Arizona||dry slopes and meadow borders 
moist soils on or near riverbanks 
|5,000 to 7,900 feet (1,500-2,400 m) [23,87]|
In Manitoba, wooden screens were placed to allow 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% shade over plots
which had been fire-pruned, burned with a propane burner resulting in ground temperatures
of 260 to 480 ºF (125-250 ºC)). Spreading dogbane sprouted in plots allowing 75% shade with
10% frequency and 6% cover and did not return to any of the other plots , suggesting
shade tolerance in spreading dogbane. Variability in light tolerance may exist across
populations and/or locations.
Flowering dates throughout the range of spreading dogbane vary over a 4-month period. Fowler and Tiedemann  found that 1st bloom and peak bloom of spreading dogbane occurred when soil moisture content of the top 6 inches (15 cm) of soil reached 3% and 5%, respectively. Flowering dates for spreading dogbane are summarized below:
|IL||late May-early September |
|CA, NC, NY, OH, SC, UT||June-August [8,48,61,96,116]|
|Great Plains region||June-September |
|Nova Scotia and intermountain west||July-August [39,137]|
Flowering dates following 6 years of observation in southeastern North Dakota were as follows :
Earliest first bloom
Latest first bloom
Median date of full flowering
Median date when 95% of flowering complete
Length of flowering period (days)
|9 June||21 June||29 June||22 July||32|
Intermediate dogbane flowers from May to August in Arizona . Fruits develop from September to October in the Carolinas .
A. a. var. incanum in northeastern Oregon was in bud the 3rd week of July, flowering the 4th week, flowering and fruiting the 1st and 2nd weeks of August, and fruiting the last 2 weeks of August and the 1st week of September where it occurred with vine maple (Acer circinatum) associations. Within coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii) associations, A. a. var. incanum was in bud the 1st week of August and flowering the 2nd and 3rd week of August .
Fire regimes: Spreading dogbane is found in communities that experience long and short fire return intervals. It is most common in dry environments with short fire intervals , but has been found among interior ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum) stands with historic mean fire return intervals of 20 to 23 years that had not burned in 96 years . Where spreading dogbane occurs in interior ponderosa pine-Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir habitat types, grazing has resulted in the promotion of younger, denser stands of even-aged trees that are more susceptible to disease and insect outbreaks and consequent increases in high severity fire risks .
Where spreading dogbane is found with quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), the longevity of stands is dependant upon the time of fire following germination. Short fire intervals discourage aspen regeneration where extensive root masses have had insufficient time to develop . Although the effect of fire on spreading dogbane within these associations has not been reported, it is unlikely that variable fire return intervals would affect its presence. Spreading dogbane in white fir (Abies concolor) habitat of southern Oregon is able to withstand periods of 15 years or more without fire and was detected in areas that had not burned in 134 years .
The following table provides fire return intervals for plant communities and ecosystems where spreading dogbane is important. Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes".
|Community or ecosystem||Dominant species||Fire return interval range (years)|
|grand fir||Abies grandis||35-200 |
|maple-beech||Acer-Fagus spp.||684-1,385 [32,188]|
|sugar maple||Acer saccharum||>1,000 |
|bluestem prairie||Andropogon gerardii var. gerardii-Schizachyrium scoparium||<10 [94,123]|
|birch||Betula spp.||80-230 |
|cheatgrass||Bromus tectorum||<10 [124,192]|
|California montane chaparral||Ceanothus and/or Arctostaphylos spp.||50-100 |
|beech-sugar maple||Fagus spp.-Acer saccharum||>1,000 |
|Rocky Mountain juniper||Juniperus scopulorum||<35 |
|western larch||Larix occidentalis||25-350 [13,18,40]|
|Great Lakes spruce-fir||Picea-Abies spp.||35 to >200 |
|northeastern spruce-fir||Picea-Abies spp.||35-200|
|southeastern spruce-fir||Picea-Abies spp.||35 to >200 |
|Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir||Picea engelmannii-Abies lasiocarpa||35 to >200 |
|black spruce||Picea mariana||35-200 |
|jack pine||Pinus banksiana||<35 to 200 [32,44]|
|Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine*||Pinus contorta var. latifolia||25-340 [17,18,172]|
|Sierra lodgepole pine*||Pinus contorta var. murrayana||35-200 |
|Jeffrey pine||Pinus jeffreyi||5-30|
|western white pine*||Pinus monticola||50-200|
|Pacific ponderosa pine*||Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa||1-47|
|interior ponderosa pine*||Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum||2-30 [12,16,100]|
|Arizona pine||Pinus ponderosa var. arizonica||2-15 [16,34,146]|
|red pine (Great Lakes region)||Pinus resinosa||3-18 (µ=3-10) [31,55]|
|red-white pine* (Great Lakes region)||Pinus resinosa-P. strobus||3-200 [32,71,102]|
|pitch pine||Pinus rigida||6-25 [24,72]|
|eastern white pine||Pinus strobus||35-200 [170,188]|
|eastern white pine-eastern hemlock||Pinus strobus-Tsuga canadensis||35-200 |
|eastern white pine-northern red oak-red maple||Pinus strobus-Quercus rubra-Acer rubrum||35-200|
|quaking aspen-paper birch||Populus tremuloides-Betula papyrifera||35-200 [44,188]|
|quaking aspen (west of the Great Plains)||Populus tremuloides||7-120 [12,66,110]|
|black cherry-sugar maple||Prunus serotina-Acer saccharum||>1,000 |
|Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir*||Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca||25-100 [12,14,15]|
|coastal Douglas-fir*||Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii||40-240 [12,114,131]|
|canyon live oak||Quercus chrysolepis||<35 to 200 |
|California black oak||Quercus kelloggii||5-30 |
|bur oak||Quercus macrocarpa||<10 |
|chestnut oak||Quercus prinus||3-8|
|northern red oak||Quercus rubra||10 to <35|
|eastern hemlock-white pine||Tsuga canadensis-Pinus strobus||µ=47 |
© Kerry Metlen, Fire/Fire Surrogate Study, Lubrecht Experimental Forest
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT:
Fire likely top-kills spreading dogbane. Rhizomes located greater than 10 inches (25 cm) in depth make destruction of spreading dogbane by fire unlikely . The location of perennating parts below the soil  may allow it to tolerate high temperatures and frequent fires.
DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT:
Spreading dogbane has been observed sprouting vigorously 1 year after fire (121) and was observed flowering within 2 months of a high-severity fire in Oregon .
PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE:
Spreading dogbane responds well to fire disturbance . It maintains comparable pre and postfire frequencies through its ability to sprout from adaptive rhizomes [9,29,51,163,165]. Spreading dogbane has been reported after fall and spring burns  and following low-  and high-severity fires . Coverage of spreading dogbane has been reported to increase with increasing fire intensity in interior ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir forest types in Montana .
Reports indicate that spreading dogbane is able to germinate on recently burned soil ,
likely from off-site seed sources . In the absence of frequent disturbances, populations
of spreading dogbane are reported to die out , although populations have been reported
up to 134 years following fire .
DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE:
Due to its broad distribution, accounts of spreading dogbane following fire are widespread and vary throughout a range of ecosystems. Adverse postfire effects on spreading dogbane appear to be temporary with reports of fluctuating population cover and frequency in the years following fire. A large percentage of studies fail to report the significance of the increase or decrease of populations, likely due to a lack of prefire data. Where spreading dogbane occurs, it is commonly found on both burned and unburned sites  such as Pacific ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa) stands in Oregon , jack pine stands in northwestern Wisconsin , chestnut oak (Quercus prinus) stands in south-central New York , and clearcuts in eastern Ontario .
California: Spreading dogbane has been observed after fires in northern California [93,169]. Following fire in the hardwood forests of northwestern California, it was reported to have 1.5% and 3.4% mean relative cover on 2 sites .
Idaho: Spreading dogbane cover increased from 0.5% to 0.9% following a shelterwood cut at the Priest River Experimental Forest in northern Idaho. Areas subsequently treated with a "moist" burn (duff was moist and fire was conducted 1 day during the warmest, driest period) had 1.0% cover prior to cutting and burning and 2.6% cover 1 year after treatment. Areas treated with a "dry" burn (duff was dry and burn was conducted over the course of 2 days throughout the evening, night, and morning) had 0.5% cover prior to treatment and 1.4% cover 1 year following cutting and burning .
Cover and frequency of spreading dogbane on high intensity prescribed burns in Idaho were significantly higher (P<0.01) than cover and frequency on control and low intensity burn sites averaged across the 1st 3 years . Following a large wildfire in a western larch (Larix occidentalis)-Douglas-fir cover type in northern Idaho, spreading dogbane constituted a maximum of 10% to 14% of cover within the 1st postfire decade due to vegetative reproduction . It was reported on 11 of 21 plots measuring 16 × 82 feet (5 × 25 m), returning 2 to 15 years postfire on sites that had previously supported standing timber or shrubfields. It was not reported on clearcut sites. Three plots reported flowering in the 1st year .
Logging and helicopter yarding were conducted in Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir habitat types of central Idaho in September through November, 1976. Micro plots on each of the logged areas were burned under prescription or by wildfire following harvest activities and vegetation plots were measured 1, 2, 5, and 10 years postburn. A comparison of burned and unburned areas in the years following fire resulted in the following cover :
Prescribed burned (% cover)
Wildfire burned (% cover)
Maine: Five years after a wildfire on Peaks Island off the coast of Maine, spreading dogbane was considered a characteristic "shrub" layer. The area had also experienced fire 26 and 28 years prior to measurements . On Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine, spreading dogbane returned through vegetative reproduction 1 year after the 1923 wildfire and was considered "abundant" .
Michigan: In Michigan spreading dogbane was found on mature jack pine stands, unburned jack pine stands within a 3-year-old clear cut, and jack pine plots burned under prescription 1 and 2 years previously. The highest frequency of spreading dogbane was found on the 1-year-old prescribed burn site . In the gray birch-red maple (Betula populifolia-Acer rubrum) habitat type of Painted Rocks National Lakeshore, spreading dogbane had an average frequency of 13% and constancy of 9% in an area that had previously experienced fire .
In northern lower Michigan, spreading dogbane populations were assessed at 5 sites supporting eastern white pine (P. strobus), red pine (P. resinosa) , northern red oak (Q. rubra), and red maple that had previously experienced natural and/or prescribed burns. Based on 100 1×1 m² quadrats at each site, spreading dogbane was absent from 4 sites and found with 1% frequency on 1 site 27 years following fire . Out of 53 recorded years, it showed the greatest frequency 16, 38, 45, and 50 years following fire .
Spreading dogbane in mature red pine-eastern white pine stands on the southwestern lower peninsula of Michigan had highest cover (0.96%) on a site that had experienced 3 biennial burns and was not found on sites that had been burned once or were unburned. Frequencies obtained from 1 m² plots following various burn treatments are as follows :
Spreading dogbane frequency
|1994 (2 burns)||1995 (3 burns)||1994||1995||1994||1995|
Minnesota: In a study related to burn succession in coniferous forests of Minnesota, spreading dogbane was found on 7 of 10 burns. It was abundant in the herbaceous stage after a pine burn . In the boreal forests of northern Minnesota, plots were examined in order to determine the effects of fire, logging, and forest type on biodiversity. Spreading dogbane was found on 54.3% of postfire stands and 45.7% of post-logging stands. Prefire occurrence was not recorded .
In northeastern Minnesota, a single spreading dogbane plant was recorded immediately after fire and 4 plants were recorded the following year in a forest supporting coniferous and hardwood species. Over the next 3 years, spreading dogbane was absent from all sample sites . Intact red pine soil blocks extracted from an unburned site and a site burned 3 years previous were exposed to moist greenhouse conditions for 3 months. No seed or seedlings were detected in the unburned soil. The equivalent of 109,000 spreading dogbane seedlings per hectare sprouted in greenhouse samples obtained from the burned area. No seed was found in sieved samples of burned soil, suggesting that seed had blown in from adjacent plots postfire. Spreading dogbane frequency as measured at the burn site was 0%, indicating poor establishment despite seed availability .
Montana: Spreading dogbane was found in Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine (P. contorta var. latifolia), Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir, spruce (Picea spp.), and subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) stands 34 years following fire in Glacier National Park . It was also detected following 2 wildfires and 1 broadcast burn in the northern Rocky Mountains . It was reported following a shelterwood cut in interior ponderosa pine-Rocky Mountain Douglas fir forest types in Montana, on plots treated with a low-consumption burn, high-consumption burn, or no burn. Spreading dogbane responded to increased intensity of fire with increasing coverage :
Preburn % cover
Postburn (3 years) % cover
Low consumption burn (between 0% and 80% woody fuel consumption)
High consumption burn (~80% consumption of woody fuels)
In a study that monitored the effects of "light" (<360ºF (180 ºC)), "medium" (360 to 570 ºF (180-300 ºC)), and "hot" (>570 ºF (300 ºC)) burn conditions in western larch-Douglas-fir habitat types, intermediate dogbane averaged 1.63% cover on light burns and 0.20% cover on hot burns 3 years following treatments .
New York: In south-central New York, spreading dogbane was found to be an overall increaser in 8 chestnut oak stands, 3 of which had experienced 1 fire, 3 that had experienced 2 fires, and 2 that had experienced 3 fires. Average frequency on burned sites was 39.3% while on unburned sites it was 14.3%. In a similar study conducted in 2 aspen groves, spreading dogbane had an average frequency of 47.5% on burned sites and 0% on unburned sites .
South Dakota: Spreading dogbane was detected after fire in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Vegetation surveys took place in July or August, 2 years following a fire that consumed all organic matter and killed all of the trees .
Washington: In the ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir forest types of the Entiat Experimental Forest in the Cascade mountains of Washington, 4 watersheds were "severely and uniformly burned" in 1970 and received seed, seed and fertilizer, or no treatment. Spreading dogbane was most abundant where fertilizer was applied. Refer to Tiedemann and Klock  for seed mix and fertilizer types used. Average cover and frequency 1 year following treatments are shown below. The average cover of spreading dogbane on all 4 watersheds 1, 2, 3, and 4 years after the fire was 0.9%, 1.4%, 1.1%, and 1.5%, respectively .
1 Year postburn
Seed and fertilizer
On a prairie site in western Washington that is burned annually as a result of military training exercises, spreading dogbane is 1 of 16 species that retains at least 0.01% cover. Mean cover and frequency are 0.2% and 16%, respectively [178,179]. In north-central Washington burns covered with dense snowbrush (Ceanothus velutinus) 20 years after fire, spreading dogbane was reported to have a "scattered" distribution .
Wisconsin: Spreading dogbane is considered a prevalent species on burned jack pine stands in northwestern Wisconsin with a frequency of 11.8% and is not considered prevalent in unburned stands. Nine control sites and 28 burned sites averaging 3.5 burns per stand were examined. Twenty burned stands were sampled the summer following the last spring burn while the other 8 were sampled 1 year postburn. Spreading dogbane frequency was 6.8% greater on burned sites .
In the bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) grasslands of northeastern Wisconsin, spreading dogbane is considered a "neutral" species, averaging 20.8% frequency on undisturbed sites and 17.3% frequency following burning. Thirteen sites were burned once, 2 sites were burned 3 times and 1 stand experienced 2 wildfires. Burning was done in March or April and sampling was completed in July or August of the same year or the following year. A study utilizing 6 pairs of burned and unburned stands of jack pine-northern pin oak (Q. ellipsoidalis) in north-central Wisconsin reported a 1% reduction of spreading dogbane frequency on burned sites .
Canada: Spreading dogbane occurred on a logged, burned site in a forest that dominated before treatment by eastern white pine and paper birch (B. papyrifera). Within 1 year of logging and 1 month of burning, spreading dogbane frequency was 5%, and aboveground biomass totaled 0.40 g in sample plots covering a total area of 5 m2 . Average ground cover of spreading dogbane was less than 1% . In another burn conducted with a gasoline-powered flamethrower held 4 to 12 inches (10-30 cm) above the ground surface, there was no recorded effect on spreading dogbane. Temperatures reached approximately 1700 ºF (925 ºC) .
Spreading dogbane in eastern Ontario was detected with 12% frequency 37 years after harvesting and burning of a site that previously supported white spruce (Picea glauca), quaking aspen, and eastern white pine . Spreading dogbane has also been reported 1 year after a prescribed burn in jack pine habitat where it did not previously occur .
In the Engelmann spruce (P. engelmannii)-subalpine fir habitat type of the Selkirk Range in western Canada, spreading dogbane was identified soon after reforestation of a burn site . Following a severe fire in spruce habitat (Picea spp.) of northern British Columbia where < 0.4 inch (1 cm) of ash and organic matter were left behind, spreading dogbane was considered one of the most common forbs. The population peaked after the 3rd year and had declined by year 5 .
The following Research Project Summary provides information on prescribed fire use and postfire response of many plant species, including spreading dogbane:
Understory recovery after low- and high-intensity fires in northern Idaho
ponderosa pine forests
FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS:
Fire will not likely eliminate spreading dogbane. It is possible that fire may augment populations by reducing the incidence of competing species . Spreading dogbane may provide important cover on jack pine sites recently burned by wildfire .
In the eastern Cascades, artificial seeding following fire resulted in reduced frequency (P = 0.04) and cover (P < 0.001) of spreading dogbane populations . Phenological development of spreading dogbane may be altered as a result of modifications to the thermal regime that occur postfire .
Spreading dogbane provides nest-building sites for crab spiders , forage for forest-dwelling ground squirrels , and is utilized by bees for honey production .
Palatability/nutritional value: In central Idaho spreading dogbane has low palatability for elk and deer [159,160] and is unpalatable to black bears . It is utilized by a native slug species on the dry east slopes of the Cascades, but is unpalatable to introduced European slugs . Nutritional values of spreading dogbane as a percentage of total dry matter are as follows :
When spreading dogbane was treated with multi-nutrient fertilizers, concentrations of B, Cu, K, N, and S were not significantly different (P>0.10) :
Frego and Staniforth  maintain that spreading dogbane provides canopy cover. Species for which
this applies were not discussed.
VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES:
Spreading dogbane has been noted to inhabit recently disturbed sites. It was observed on a clear-cut site in western Montana  and reported highest densities (83 plants per acre) 3 and 5 years following harvest activity in California . Spreading dogbane was found on a mudflow surface at Mount St. Helens 1 year following disturbance  and is considered an increaser along streams in southern Idaho , possibly indicating a propensity to inhabit areas disturbed by flood events. Temperature measurements conducted in southwestern Oregon in undisturbed stands indicate a preference for warm temperatures when compared with other species . In Gifford Pinchot National Forest grand fir (Abies grandis) habitat types, spreading dogbane is used as an indicator for disturbance .
Spreading dogbane can be successfully transplanted. Transplanting from high elevation to low elevation sites led to development that was delayed by 1 month when compared to plants currently at the low elevation site. Plants moved from low elevation to high elevation sites were advanced by 1 week in 1st bloom and peak bloom when compared to plants remaining at the low elevation site. Transplants did not produce seed at the lower sites . Spreading dogbane has been used for landscaping in residence areas that seek to utilize prairie species .
Procedures for seed propagation of spreading dogbane can be found in .
Spreading dogbane has been used in the construction of fish nets  and as cordage when preferred plants were not readily available . Its use as a medicinal has resulted in sickness and death .
OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS:
Spreading dogbane exhibits variable responses to projects involving vegetation removal. It was recorded on 3.4% of 2,142 sample plots in California after thinning and burning operations  and was detected up to 20 years following a clearcut in western Alberta . It occurred with 5% frequency in the 2nd growing season following clearcutting and barley mulch application in Quebec , and accounted for 0.001% of cover the 1st year, 0.026% the 2nd year, and 0.006% the 3rd year following clearcutting, scarification, and planting in New Brunswick. It made up 0.006% of cover in uncut plots during the 3rd year and was never detected in untreated clearcut plots . In the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming, understory was examined after various stocking treatments in approximately 70-year-old stands of interior ponderosa pine. Spreading dogbane production was reported as follows :
Growing stock levels (m²/ha) for sapling-sized interior ponderosa pine stands (basal area of a stand + standard errors)
|Spreading dogbane production (kg/ha)||clearcut||5||9||14||18||23||28||unthinned|
|1976||<1||3 + 1||<1||<1|
|1981||<1||3 + 2||*||2 + 1||*||5 + 4||*||1 + 1|
Growing stock levels (m²/ha) for pole-sized interior ponderosa pine stands (basal area of a stand + standard errors)
|1976||5 + 3||7 + 6||<1|
|1981||1 + <1||5 + 4||*||2 + 2||*||<1||*||<1|
In Ontario, spreading dogbane was found 6 years after the removal of vegetation from a peat bog and subsequent harvesting of up to 7 feet (2 m) of peat, but was not found in bogs that had been mined 1, 10, and 24 years previously . In northern Minnesota, understory species were monitored following spring and winter full-tree logging (tree felled and taken off-site), winter tree-length logging (tree felled, limbed and only bole taken off site), and sites that received no treatment. Spreading dogbane was found on the logged sites during the 2nd season following treatment. The occurrence of spreading dogbane across treated sites was not significantly different at the P=0.05 level . Spreading dogbane cover increased from 0.5% to 0.9% following a shelterwood cut at the Priest River Experimental Forest in northern Idaho . In the 5 years following an 8-acre clear-cut in the northern Sierra Nevada range, the following measurements of spreading dogbane were taken :
Density (plants/acre + standard errors)
Cover (ft²/acre + standard errors)
Height (feet + standard errors)
|1976||2||20 + 0||10 + 0||0.2 + 0|
|1977||2||67 + 0||17 + 0||0.5 + 0|
|1978||3||83 + 150||T* + 0||0.6 + 0|
|1979||2||17 + 0||T + 0||0.3 + 0|
|1980||3||83 + 150||17 + 0||0.8 + 0|
In a study to determine how light intensity correlates with frequency of spreading dogbane in red pine forests, plots exposed to variable amounts of sunlight were examined. Frequency was highest between 50% and 80% of full sunlight . Spreading dogbane is not influenced by edge effects . Studies conducted to determine the change in moisture content of 21 species from early summer to mid-summer indicate that spreading dogbane was 1 of 3 species to experience an increase .
In Idaho, biomass production of spreading dogbane in an area grazed primarily by cattle and domestic sheep was greater than 3 times that in ungrazed areas. Cover and frequency were not significantly different (P>0.05) .
Spreading dogbane has been successfully controlled through the use of herbicides [25,38,46,47,125,162].
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