dog-strangling vine, European swallowwort
Vincetoxicum rossicum (Kleopov) Barbarich


Cynanchum rossicum is an herbaceous, twining, long-lived perennial vine. The vines can reach 5 ft. (1.5 m) in length.
Leaves are opposite, dark green, oval, shiny, 3-4 in. (7.6-10.2 cm) long and 2-3 in. (5.1-7.6 cm) wide. They are attached to the vine by a petiole about 0.4 in. (1 cm).
Flowering occurs in June to September, when dark pink to deep red, 5-petaled, star-shaped flowers appear in clusters. Flowers are approximately 0.25 in. (0.6 cm) across and are covered with white hairs.
The fruits are similar to milkweed pods. They are slender, 2-3 in. (5.1-7.6 cm) long and split to reveal small seeds with tufts of white hairs. The hairs allow the seeds to be readily dispersed by the wind.
Ecological Threat
Cynanchum rossicum invades upland areas and tolerates a wide range of light and moisture conditions. It can grow rapidly over native vegetation to the point of dominating the understory of a woodland. Wind-dispersed seeds allow it to disperse over long distances. When it is cut, this plant resprouts vigorously, making control difficult. It is native to Europe and was likely introduced into the United States for ornamental purposes.


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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Gentianales
Family: Asclepiadaceae
Genus: Vincetoxicum
Subject: Vincetoxicum rossicum (Kleopov) Barbarich

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
pale shallow-wort

Related Scientific Names:
Cynanchum rossicum (Kleopow) Borhidi (Synonym)


Plants - Vines