common boneset

(Eupatorium perfoliatum var. perfoliatum)

Conservation Status
common boneset (var. perfoliatum)
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
  Midwest

OBL - Obligate wetland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Common boneset (var. perfoliatum) is a 3 to 4 tall, perennial forb that rises on a single stem from a short caudex. It grows only in shade. It is a late bloomer, one of the last flowers to be seen in the woods in the fall.

The stems are erect, branched near the top, leafy, and covered with long, soft, shaggy but unmatted hairs.

The leaves are usually in opposite pairs, though they are rarely found in whorls of 3. They are thin and lance-shaped, tapering gradually to a pointed tip and broad at the base. The lower leaves are 2 to 6 long and to 1½ wide, becoming smaller as they ascend the stem. The bases of lower and middle paired leaves are fused together around the stem. The margins have rounded teeth all the way to the base. There is a conspicuous network of veins, depressed on the upper surface of the blade, giving the blade a wrinkled appearance. The lower surface is covered with short soft hairs.

The inflorescence is a flat-topped branched cluster of many flower heads at the end of the stem and each side stem. Combined, the clusters are up to 6.

Each flower contains 9 to 23 disk florets and no ray florets. Each disk floret consists of a dull white flower tube with 5 short spreading lobes. A white, forked style protrudes from the floral tube well beyond the lobes. The flowers are fragrant.

The fruit is a tiny dark achene with a small tuft of 20 to 30 white hairs about long.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

3 to 4

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Tall boneset (Eupatorium altissimum) leaves are not fused around the stem at their bases. They have 3 prominent parallel veins, not a conspicuous network of veins. The leaf margins are untoothed near the base, with sharp, forward-pointing teeth above the middle. Each flower contains just 5 disk florets. The flowers have little or no fragrance. The fruit has a tuft of 30 to 40 light brown hairs.

Upland boneset (Eupatorium sessilifolium var. brittonianum) leaves are not fused around the stem at their bases. The veins are arranged like the vanes of a feather, with a single prominent midvein extending from the base to the tip and lateral veins originating from several points on each side (pinnately veined). The leaf margins are untoothed near the base, with sharp, forward-pointing teeth above the middle. Each flower contains just 5 disk florets. The flowers have little or no fragrance. The fruit has a tuft of 30 to 40 light brown hairs.

White snakeroot (Ageratina altissima var. altissima) leaves are shorter, wider, and on long leaf stalks. The flower heads are much larger. It is found in woods, always in shade.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Wet to moderate moisture. Prairies, meadows.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

July to October

 
     
 

Pests and Diseases

 
 

white snakeroot leaf miner (Liriomyza eupatoriella)

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28

 
  1/6/2014      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Superorder Asteranae  
 

Order

Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  
 

Family

Asteraceae (sunflowers, daisies, asters, and allies)  
  Subfamily Asteroideae  
  Supertribe Helianthodae  
  Tribe Eupatorieae (bonesets, blazingstars, and allies)  
  Subtribe Eupatoriinae  
 

Genus

Eupatorium (thoroughwort)  
  Species Eupatorium perfoliatum (common boneset)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

There are two varieties of Eupatorium perfoliatum. The second variety, var. colpophilum, has narrower leaves and shorter hairs. It occurs only in the far northeastern United States and adjacent Canada.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Eupatorium chapmanii

Eupatorium perfoliatum var. cuneatum

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

ague-weed

boneset

common boneset

feverweed

purple boneset

sweating-plant

thoroughwax

thoroughwort

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Achene

A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded fruit, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.

 

Caudex

A short, thickened, woody, persistent enlargement of the stem, at or below ground level, used for water storage.

 

Pinnately veined

With the veins arranged like the vanes of a feather; a single prominent midvein extending from the base to the tip and lateral veins originating from several points on each side.

       
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Plant

  common boneset (var. perfoliatum)   common boneset (var. perfoliatum)
       
  common boneset    
       

Inflorescence

  common boneset   common boneset
       
  common boneset   common boneset
       

Leaves

  common boneset   common boneset
       
  common boneset   common boneset
       

Rare form: A plant with whorls of three fused leaves.

  common boneset   common boneset
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Common boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Common boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)  
     
  Common Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
Bill Keim
 
  Common Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)  

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
Mike Cush
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 18, 2013

Information about Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum). I am the owner of Natural Gardens specializing in Michigan Native Plants, Butterfly and Wildlife gardens. I am also a member of Wildflowers Association of Michigan (WAM) and Wild Ones (North Oakland chapter). Please feel free to send me questions.

   
       
  Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum )
wvoutdoorman
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 2, 2012

Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum )

   
       

 

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