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Eupatorium perfoliatum

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun

Water Use: medium, high

Soil Moisture: moist, wet

Soil Description: acid, neutral, rich, average, loam, clay, sand

Height: 2'-5'

Bloom Time: July, August, September, October

Bloom Color: white

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts birds, attracts butterflies, clumping, colonizing, cottage garden plant, cut flowers, deer resistant, fall interest, medicinal, naturalizing, poisonous, pond margin plant, stream margin plant, wetland plant

Flowers of Eupatorium perfoliatum (common boneset)
  • Flowers of Eupatorium perfoliatum (common boneset)
  • Flowers of Eupatorium perfoliatum (common boneset)
  • Flowers of Eupatorium perfoliatum (common boneset)
  • Leaf of Eupatorium perfoliatum (common boneset)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Eupatorium perfoliatum

Also known as:

common boneset

,

American boneset

,

thoroughwort

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Eupatorium perfoliatum is a large, clumping, perennial wildflower, closely related to Joe-Pye-weeds. It can grow up to 6' tall. Single, hairy, erect stems emerge from the base. The lance-shaped leaves are opposite and connected at the base, giving the impression that they are perforated by the stem, hence the specific epithet "perfoliatum". The tall stems divide terminally to bear large, fluffy, flat-topped clusters of small white flowers. These give way to small seeds with hair-like bristles that are easily dispersed by the wind.

Cultivation

Common boneset is native to wetlands and moist lowlands. It prefers soil rich in organic matter that remains consistently moist. It will tolerate light shade but does best in full to part-sun. Mature specimens will slowly spread by means of rhizomes to form large clumps and small colonies. It will provide a visually stunning background in any moist, cottage garden or perennial flower bed. Blooms in mid-summer through mid-fall: July to October. Very cold hardy: zones 3-8

Propagation

Propagate from seed. Germination of stored seeds will be facilitated by a 3 week period of cold stratification. Mature clumps can be divided in early spring or late fall. Early summer soft wood cuttings may also be successful.

Additional Notes

Eupatorium perfoliatum is a moisture loving plant. The nectar rich flowers will attract a great variety of pollinators. The bitter leaves tend do deter herbivores from browsing them. All parts of the plant should be considered toxic if ingested in large quantities. According to the USDA: "The leaves have been used to treat dengue fever. Modern German research suggests that common boneset may act as a general immune system stimulant". It has traditionally been used as a weak anti-inflammatory and laxative.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

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 Eupatorium thoroughwort
Species Eupatorium perfoliatum common boneset