Ageratina altissima

Ageratina altissima

white snakeroot

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Ageratina altissima

white snakeroot
  • Plant type and subtype:
    • Perennials
    • Hardiness Zone: 
    • 2,
    • 3,
    • 4,
    • 5,
    • 6,
    • 7,
    • 8
    • Light Requirements: 
    • shade,
    • part-shade,
    • part-sun,
    • sun
  • Height: 2'-4'
    • Leaf Color: 
    • green
    • Bloom Color: 
    • white
    • Bloom Time: 
    • Jul,
    • Aug,
    • Sep,
    • Oct
    • Water Use: 
    • low
    • Soil Moisture: 
    • dry,
    • moist
    • Soil Description: 
    • acid,
    • rich,
    • average,
    • poor,
    • clay,
    • gravel / rock
    • Additional Tags: 
    • attracts bees,
    • clumping,
    • colonizing,
    • cottage garden plant,
    • drought tolerant,
    • naturalizing,
    • poisonous,
    • rock garden plant,
    • shade garden plant,
    • woodland garden plant
  • Description: 

    Ageratina altissima grows up to 4' tall. It is a clumping plant that produces more stems as it matures. Terminal clusters of abundant, small, white flowers appear in late summer, and can persist until frost.

  • Cultivation: 

    Very easy to cultivate in a variety of soils and light conditions. It is drought tolerant, but foliage and blooms will decline earlier in a sunny, or dry location. It will slowly spread by rhyzomes, or more aggressively from seed. Ideal to naturalize in moist open locations. A good choice for cottage, and rock gardens, though it is recommended to remove spend flowers before they go to seed, to avoid unwanted spread. Flowers persist late in the season, when very little else is in bloom; July to October. Zones 2-8

  • Propagation: 

    Self seeds readily. Clumps can be divided in early spring. Plants have taproots. This makes them drought tolerant, but hard to dig out, particularly in heavy clay.

  • Additional Notes: 

    The common name "snakeroot" is a reference to the early belief that the roots where a cure for snakebite. In fact all parts of the plant are highly toxic and can be fatal to animals and humans if ingested in large quantities. It was later discovered that these toxins are passed on to humans through cow's milk, causing "milk sickness". Fortunately, grazers avoid this plant and only forage on it as a last resort. Ageratina altissima was previously classified as Eupatorium rugosum.

Map of Native Range

  • Range by State: USDA data
  • Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

*The map of native range is based on the latest available USDA data.

There may be gaps in the county level distribution.

Native Range: 

AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae  
Order: Asterales  
Family: Asteraceae Aster family
Genus: Ageratina snakeroot
Species: Ageratina altissima white snakeroot
     
Synonyms:

tall boneset

USDA Endangered Status

N/A

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