Plants in the dogbane family are mainly perennial herbs or vines, most with milky sap. Simple leaves grow from opposite sides of the stem, or are sometimes whorled. The flowers may be solitary or arranged in branching inflorescences. The flowers are 5-parted, actinomorphic (radially symmetrical), and have both pollen-bearing and ovule-bearing parts. The sepals may sometimes be fused together at the base, while the petals are always fused at the base. A third whorl of perianth (the corona) is sometimes present and its 5 members are variously shaped (sometimes extend into a long, slender tube, such as in the milkweeds). The 5 stamens are attached to the petals and alternate with them. The ovary matures as a follicle that open along one side to release the many seeds that usually have tufts of hairs on their ends. The Apocynaceae includes species that were formerly placed in a separate family: Asclepiadaceae.
This Family’s Genera in New England:
Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key