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
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
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Eupatorium perfoliatumAlso known as:
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.
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
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.
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
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
|Species||Eupatorium perfoliatum||common boneset|