An extract of the leaves of Apocynum venetum L. (Apocynaceae) markedly shortened the immobility time of male rats in a forced swimming test (FST) in a dose range of 30—125 mg/kg, indicating a possible antidepressant activity. This effect was comparable to that of the tricyclic antidepressant imipramine (20 mg/kg). Neither imipramine (20 mg/kg) nor the Apocynum extract in various doses (30, 60, 125 mg/kg) produced any overt behavioural change or motor dysfunction in the open field test. This result confirms the assumption that the antidepressant effect of an Apocynum extract in the FST is specific. Further, it can be speculated that this effect might be related to hyperoside and isoquercitrin which are major flavonoids in the extract.