In the foreground, Cynanchum aphyllum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Cynanchum

About 300, see text.

Cynanchum is a genus of about 300 species including some swallowworts, belonging to the family Apocynaceae. The taxon name comes from Greek kynos (meaning "dog") and anchein ("to choke"), referring to the toxicity[1] of these plants. Hence the common name for several species is dog-strangling vine. Most species are non-succulent climbers or twiners.



These plants are perennial herbs or subshrubs, often growing from rhizomes. The leaves are usually oppositely arranged and sometimes are borne on petioles. The inflorescences and flowers come in a variety of shapes.

Like other species of the milkweed family, these plants bear follicles, which are podlike dry fruits.


These species are found worldwide in the tropics and subtropics. Several species also grow in temperate regions.


The root of Cynanchum atratum is used in Chinese traditional medicine and called Bai wei. Several other species had traditional Chinese medicinal uses.

Cynanchum louiseae, the black swallowwort, is a troublesome noxious weed in parts of the northern United States.[2]


Cynanchum as defined in the late 20th century (to include about 400 species) is polyphyletic and is being broken up. Species are being moved to genera including Orthosia, Pentarrhinum and Vincetoxicum, with a group of mostly Old World species staying in Cynanchum.[3][4]


Species include:

  • Cynanchum acuminatifolium
  • Cynanchum acutum
  • Cynanchum altiscandens[5]
  • Cynanchum amplexicaule
  • Cynanchum andringitrense
  • Cynanchum angustifolium
  • Cynanchum anthonyanum
  • Cynanchum aphyllum
  • Cynanchum atratum
  • Cynanchum auriculatum
  • Cynanchum arizonicum
  • Cynanchum barbigerum - bearded swallowwort
  • Cynanchum batangense
  • Cynanchum bicampanulatum
  • Cynanchum biondioides
  • Cynanchum boudieri
  • Cynanchum brevicoronatum
  • Cynanchum bungei
  • Cynanchum callialatum
  • Cynanchum canescens
  • Cynanchum carnosum
  • Cynanchum chekiangense
  • Cynanchum chinense
  • Cynanchum christineae
  • Cynanchum corymbosum
  • Cynanchum danguyanum
  • Cynanchum decipiens
  • Cynanchum duclouxii
  • Cynanchum elegans
  • Cynanchum erubescens
  • Cynanchum fordii
  • Cynanchum formosanum
  • Cynanchum forrestii
  • Cynanchum giraldii
  • Cynanchum glaucescens
  • Cynanchum floribundum - Dumara bush
  • Cynanchum gortsianum
  • Cynanchum heydei
  • Cynanchum hydrophilum
  • Cynanchum inamoenum
  • Cynanchum insulanum
  • Cynanchum kingdonwardii
  • Cynanchum kintungense
  • Cynanchum komarovii
  • Cynanchum kwangsiense
  • Cynanchum laeve - honeyvine
  • Cynanchum lineare
  • Cynanchum linearisepalum
  • Cynanchum longipedunculatum
  • Cynanchum louiseae - Louis's swallowwort
  • Cynanchum lysimachioides
  • Cynanchum marnieranum
  • Cynanchum megalanthum
  • Cynanchum mongolicum
  • Cynanchum mooreanum
  • Cynanchum nigrum
  • Cynanchum officinale
  • Cynanchum otophyllum
  • Cynanchum paniculatum
  • Cynanchum pedunculatum
  • Cynanchum pingshanicum
  • Cynanchum puberulum
  • Cynanchum purpureum
  • Cynanchum racemosum
  • Cynanchum riparium
  • Cynanchum rockii
  • Cynanchum rossicum - pale swallowwort,dog-strangling swallowwort, dog-strangling vine
  • Cynanchum sinoracemosum
  • Cynanchum stauntonii
  • Cynanchum stenophyllum
  • Cynanchum sublanceolatum
  • Cynanchum szechuanense
  • Cynanchum taihangense
  • Cynanchum thesioides
  • Cynanchum utahense
  • Cynanchum versicolor
  • Cynanchum verticillatum
  • Cynanchum vincetoxicum
  • Cynanchum volubile
  • Cynanchum wallichii
  • Cynanchum wangii
  • Cynanchum wilfordii


  1. ^
  2. ^ NPS Alien Plants Fact Sheet
  3. ^ Alan S. Weakley (April 2008). "Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia, and Surrounding Areas". 
  4. ^ Sigrid Liede and Angelika Tauber (Oct. - Dec., 2002). "Circumscription of the Genus Cynanchum (Apocynaceae-Asclepiadoideae)". Systematic Botany 27 (4): 789–800. JSTOR 3093924 
  5. ^ Bussmann, R. W., et al. (2006). Plant use of the Maasai of Sekenani Valley, Maasai Mara, Kenya. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed 2 22.

External sources

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cynanchum — acutum Systematik Euasteriden I Ordnung: Enzianartige (Gentianales) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cynanchum — Asclépiadacées …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cynanchum — (C. L., Hundswürger), Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Asclepiadeae verae Cynancheae, 5. Kl. 9. Ordn. L. Arten: meist exotisch; enthalten scharfen Milchsaft; C. monspeliacum, in Südfrankreich u. Spanien, mit windendem, krautartigem Stängel,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Cynanchum — L. (Hundswürger, Schwalbenwurz), Gattung der Asklepiadazeen, Milchsaft führende Stauden mit Neigung zum Winden oder Sträucher mit gegenständigen, gestielten, meist herzförmigen, bisweilen nur als Schuppen entwickelten Blättern und weißen,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cynanchum — L., Pflanzengattg. der Asklepiadazeen. Die Wurzel (Giftwurzel) von C. vincetoxĭcum L. (Hundswürger, Schwalbenwurz, Sankt Lorenzkraut), einer weiß blühenden, in Deutschland häufigen Art, war offizinell. Aus dem Milchsaft von C. acūtum L. und… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cynanchum — Cynanchum, Hundswürger, Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Asclepiadeen, giftig, am Cap und in dem wärmeren Asien; einige Arten werden bei uns als Zierpflanzen gezogen …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Cynanchum —   Cynanchum Cynanchum aphyllum …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cynanchum — Asclépiadacées Cynanchum acutum …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cynanchum — ID 24279 Symbol Key CYNAN Common Name swallow wort Family Asclepiadaceae Category Dicot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity N/A US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution AL, AR, AZ, CA, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN,… …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • cynanchum — sə̇ˈnaŋkəm noun Etymology: New Latin, from Greek kynanchon dogbane (Marsdenia erecta), from kyn cyn + anchon (from anchein to choke) more at anger 1. capitalized : a genus of twining vines ( …   Useful english dictionary

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