PlantsEupatoriums→Common Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Common Boneset
Give a thumbs up Boneset
Give a thumbs up Thoroughwort
Give a thumbs up Agueweed
Give a thumbs up American Boneset
Give a thumbs up Feverwort
Give a thumbs up Indian Sage
Give a thumbs up Chapman's Thoroughwort

Botanical names:
Eupatorium perfoliatum Accepted
Eupatorium chapmanii Synonym
Eupatorium cuneatum Synonym
Eupatorium polyneuron Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 24 - 60 inches
Plant Spread: 18 - 30 inches
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Fruit: Edible to birds
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Water gardens
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Stratify seeds: 3 months at 40 degrees
Suitable for wintersowing
Can handle transplanting
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Tip
Pollinators: Various insects


This plant is tagged in:
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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Feb 16, 2018 9:08 PM

I am happy to say that this is a common wild perennial in wet soils near pond, lakes, watercourses, and swamps. It gets its name from an old belief that the leaves clasping around the stem would help heal the setting of bones. Its native range is from southern Manitoba to Nova Scotia and then southward deep down into the US. Its white flowers in late summer and early fall are loved by a large number of bees and other pollinators. Some are sold by a good number of native plant nurseries and it does make a nice, neat perennial that grows fine in average, mesic garden soil.

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Posted by mellielong (Lutz, Florida - Zone 9b) on Apr 17, 2015 10:56 PM

The book "How to Know the Wildflowers" (1922) by Mrs William Starr Dana gives the author's personal experience with this plant. She says it so well, I'm going to quote the passage in its entirety.

"To one whose childhood was passed in the country some fifty years ago the name or sight of this plant is fraught with unpleasant memories. The attic or wood-shed was hung with bunches of the dried herb, which served as many gruesome warnings against wet feet, or any over-exposure which might result in cold or malaria. A certain Nemesis, in the shape of a nauseous draught which was poured down the throat under the name of 'boneset tea', attended such a catastrophe. The Indians first discovered its virtues, and named the plant ague-weed. Possibly this is one of the few herbs whose efficacy has not been overrated. Dr. Millspaugh says, "It is prominently adapted to cure a disease peculiar to the South, known as break-bone fever (Dengue), and it is without doubt from this property that the name boneset was derived."

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Posted by jmorth (central Illinois) on Dec 9, 2011 7:18 PM

Preferred habitat in the Midwest include moist to wet ground, prairies, marshes, and along streams.
Native American Indians considered it a panacea for ills, aches, and pain.
Name Boneset came from early settlers who used it, not to set bones, but as a flu treatment. A flu that caused severe body aches was called 'breakbone fever'

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Coronavirus Info Central (COVID19 Discussion) by EscondidoCal May 5, 2021 3:45 PM 10,070
Weed or Not? by IJsbrandtGA Dec 31, 2018 8:15 AM 5
Queen Anne's Lace look-alike! by Lizardfarmer Aug 9, 2018 6:16 PM 4
identification? by idn Aug 28, 2016 8:14 AM 3
Boneset! by AllanBlane Jul 5, 2016 7:41 PM 2
Insect Photos -Some of My Garden Babies by nativeplantlover Jul 17, 2016 11:49 AM 18
beautiful plant identified by sheila909 Sep 17, 2015 4:04 PM 5
Is this boneset? by Catmint20906 Aug 15, 2015 10:34 AM 6
Late Boneset (Eupatorium serotinum) ; growing in my garden by lovesblooms Aug 13, 2015 10:37 AM 5
Recognize this wild flower? by Dennis616 Aug 1, 2015 11:51 AM 5

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