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Eupatorium perfoliatum L.

Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

▲▼ mature, flowering plants

▲▼ closer view of flowers, inflorescences

▲▼ closer view of leaves, showing leaf bases clasping around stem in photo below


Eupatorium perfoliatum L., Boneset:  (Bayer Code:  EUPPE; US Code EUPE3)

·         North American native creeping perennial with stout rhizomes, produces green stems 1.5-5 feet tall; stems densely covered with stiff white/transparent hairs; stems branched along length, but more branching in upper portions as flowering commences

·         Leaves lanceolate, opposite, with rounded teeth along margins; leaf undersides covered with stiff hairs

·         Leaf bases clasp around the stem (for most plants—some plants have non-clasping leaves) on lower and middle part of stems

·         Head inflorescences in round-topped clusters at tips of stems, and some from axils of upper stem leaves

·         Individual flower heads about 0.25 inch diameter, with no ray flowers and white to whitish-gray disk flowers

·         Bracts below inflorescence are green, very hairy, linear-lanceolate, with pointed tips

·         Prefers moist to wet soils, open woods, riparian areas; tolerant of gravelly or sandy wet soils

·         Has been used medicinally, but can be toxic to humans and livestock

·         Leaves may appear somewhat like stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), but stinging nettle leaves have long petioles (they do not join bases around the stem), and the flowers are greenish, in clusters in the axils of the leaves, not showy white flowers in clusters at tips of stems, as with boneset



·         Eupatorium is a genus of plants that includes weeds called Boneset, Dogfennel, Eupatorium, Joe-Pyeweed, Thoroughwort, (all of the white-flowered species are also called whitetop.

·         They are a group of perennial, native weeds that usually are not palatable to livestock, and some are poisonous

·         Besides the weedy species described, there are several ornamental native species/wildflowers that were previously included in this genus group (now placed in the genus, Eutrochium), that are found in moist soils and have large terminal clusters of white, pink or blue flowers; some have whorled leaves—Sweet JoePye Weed, Spotted JoePye Weed, Hollow-Stemmed JoePye Weed


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