Missouri Wildflower Guide

But down where the fireflies are like eyes,
And the damps shudder, and the mists rise,
The hemp-stalks stand up toward the skies.


From "The Hemp" by Stephen Vincent Benet

Indian Hemp

I first noticed this plant at my parents-in-laws' house. A large patch of it had grown up next to their shed, and the great numbers of butterflies hovering over the plants caught my attention. Since then, I've also encountered Indian Hemp along the gravel roads near my home.


Its juice is milky, like that of Milkweeds, to which it is related. Fibers from this plant have been used in making rope, nets, and fabric, and have been discovered in objects from as long as three to five thousand years ago.


  • Bloom Time



  • Habit



  • Height

    To 4 feet


  • Light



  • Flower Size

    ΒΌ inch


  • Leaf Size

    3-5 inches long, 1-2 inches wide


  • Leaf Arrangement



  • Leaf Surface