Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Taxonomy
Eupatorium perfoliatum L.
ASTERACEAE (Composite Family)
EtymologyEupatorium is named for Mithridates Eupator (132-63 B.C.E), king of Pontus, who isupposedly discovered antidote to the poison in one of the plants of this genus; perfoliatum means with leaves joined at the stem so that the stem appears to perforate the leaves, from the Latin: per = through + foliatus = having leaves.
Synonyms (Common Name)Thoroughwort, Ague-weed, Feverweed, Sweating-plant, Indian Sage, Crosswort
DescriptionOccurring in small colonies, boneset is a perennial herb of wet meadows that grows to 5' tall. Boneset has flat clusters of numerous, fuzzy, white flowers. Its lanceolate leaves widen at the base, where they join together to completely enclose the hairy stem.
Wetland indicator statusFACW+
Plant Height2-5 feet
LeavesOpposite, with broad bases that are fused around the stem; 3-8" long; finely-toothed, crinkled or wavy margins, lanceolate, pointed tips; each pair of leaves perpendicular to the pairs directly above and below.
Flower/InflorescenceDull white, tiny (1/4"); 9-23 flowers resembling fuzzy tufts in dense, flat-topped clusters to 8" long; terminal cluster and at the tips of the branches.
Flowering PeriodJuly-September
FruitAchene, tiny, tipped with fine bristles.
HabitatWet meadows, margins of ponds, streams and marshes; low, moist ground.
RangeNova Scotia to Manitoba and North Dakota; south to Florida and Texas.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett