PlantsAgeratina→White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up White Snakeroot
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Give a thumbs up Jack in the Bush
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Botanical names:
Ageratina altissima Accepted
Eupatorium odoratum Synonym
Eupatorium rugosum Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 3 to 5 feet (.9-1.5m)
Plant Spread: 2 to 4 feet (61-122cm)
Fruiting Time: Fall
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Erosion control
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Tolerates dry shade
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Other: Meat and milk become contaminated with the toxin tremetol when the plants are consumed by cattle. This can then be passed on to humans.
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Scarify seeds: 2 months at 40 degrees
Suitable for wintersowing
Can handle transplanting
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Tip
Pollinators: Hoverflies
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil


A Beautiful Day in the NeighborhoodA Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
By SongofJoy on July 13, 2014

The Nature Conservancy calls Tennessee the most biologically rich of all the inland states. As I walk through my property and neighborhood, I see many exotic plants. Fortunately, I also see an abundance of native plants.

(Full article33 comments)
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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Feb 17, 2018 6:46 PM

This White Snakeroot is a very common wild perennial in Pennsylvania and much of the East and Midwest. Its native range is from Saskatchewan through Quebec down deep into the deep South of the US, usually found growing along woodland edges. Like the other Bonesets & Thoroughworts, it is a great plant for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators when it blooms in late summer and early autumn. It can be a powerful weed in gardens and landscapes, as I have experienced, sowing itself everywhere, and it is not easy to pull out of the ground. I do like this wild native plant and think it is pretty, but I just don't want it anywhere, as it did grow unwanted in some places in a few gardens I took care of. It is sold by some native plant nurseries.

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Feb 10, 2014 8:55 AM

This grows wild all along the dark edge of our back woods and really stands out in the late summer and fall. The fluffy white tails are scattered by the wind and the plant reseeds quite prolifically.

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Posted by bxncbx (NYC - Zone 7a) on Feb 20, 2018 12:08 PM

White Snakeroot grows wild in my garden in NYC. At first I thought it was a weed but later found out that it was a native plant. I always make sure to leave some plants when I'm weeding my garden in spring and summer. I find the small white flowers to be quite attractive. It also blooms late in the summer/early fall when hardly anything else in the garden is blooming. The pollinators flock to it! The seeds are wind dispersed, but I haven't found it to be horribly invasive. The seedlings are easy enough to pull up and so far, none of my neighbors' yards have sprouted seedlings. This despite my typically having 10-20 plants flowering each year. I tend to have the same patch of them come up each year with a few stragglers about 3-4 feet away. My main patch is in partial to full shade and the plants grow about two feet tall.

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Plant Events from our members
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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Doesn't appear to be burnweed? by KentPfeiffer Sep 27, 2014 11:16 AM 1
Banner for January 1, 2021 by mmolyson by mmolyson Jan 1, 2021 11:57 AM 10
Banner for December 19, 2020 by mmolyson by mmolyson Dec 19, 2020 9:06 PM 13
what is this? by allynec Sep 24, 2020 6:35 AM 4
Tiny white flowers with a sweet scent. by antsinmypants Sep 14, 2020 1:25 PM 4
Is this water hemlock? by Ken_T Oct 3, 2019 4:44 PM 6
Identification question by KatherinePSmit Sep 21, 2019 4:48 PM 4
Weed or wildflower ? by yardleyks Sep 18, 2019 8:40 PM 7
Plant Trivia by JHeirloomSeeds Apr 12, 2019 8:08 AM 401
Snakeroot vs Boneset? by Keba224 Sep 17, 2018 1:57 PM 1
Is this a weed? by jshank83 Jun 27, 2017 7:49 PM 3

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