More Information About Cynanchum
Cynanchum is commonly misspelled in the trade as either Cyanchum or Cynanchium. The name comes from the greek for dog choke, from which the name Dog-strangling vine is derived. This is a reference to its toxic nature and its previous use as an animal poison. Interestingly enough, Cynanchum has also been used in the past as a poison antidote in certain situations too.
Like its milkweed cousin, Cynanchum attracts butterflies (particularly Monarchs) that like to feed on its toxic sap to protect themselves from predators. Despite the toxicity, some cultures in Asia use the leaves and seedpods (thouroughly cooked) as a food source and use the roots as medicine.
Although the common names say that Cynanchum is a vine, not all species are vines...some are loose shrubs and others are perennial herbs. Cynanchum plants produce clusters of small (usually) purple flowers that mature into the long milkweed-like seed pods common to the family Apocynaceae. When you are ready to buy Cynanchum for your garden, check out our online list of Cynanchum for sale below.