South Dakota Native Plant Research
Asteraceae : Eupatorium perfoliatum

Asteraceae : Eupatorium perfoliatum


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Eupatorium perfoliatum is a perennial herb arising from a rhizome, with stems, covered with hairs, that grow from 40 to 150 cm tall. The simple, opposite leaves clasp the stems. The blades are broad at the base and taper to a point at the tip, 7-20 cm long and up to 4 cm wide, with toothed margins and hairy lower sides. The inflorescence is made up of flat-topped clusters of heads. Each head has a 4-6 mm involucre of overlapping bracts in several series. There are 9-23 white disk flowers that produce 5-sided achenes that have a bristly pappus. Boneset blooms in August and September in damp prairies and bogs in the eastern edge of South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Eupatorium perfoliatum can provide a dramatic accent in a native plant garden and to attract wildlife in a moist meadow. Plants are attractive to butterflies and some bees. Boneset was historically included in medical herb gardens for use as a folk medicine for treatment of flus, fevers and colds.

Horticulture Notes

Seed Collection: Collect seed in late summer or early fall.

Germination: Sow seeds in the fall and plant thickly as germination is usually low. Spring sown seeds have some dormancy and spring planting is improved when they are incubated at 70-85 degrees in the presence of light.

Vegetative Propagation: Division of clumps can be made in the fall or spring.

Soils: Well-drained organically rich.

Light: Full sun to partial shade.

Water: Moist to mesic.

Asteraceae : Eupatorium perfoliatum