Late-Flowering Thoroughwort

Late-Flowering ThoroughwortThis large family (Asteraceae), commonly called the Aster Family, consists of 1,314 genera and 21,000 species of herbs, shrubs, climbers and a few trees is found chiefly in temperate and subtropical regions.  The Aster family is of value to man as ornamentals; a few are insecticides and fish poisons. Another plant in this genus, Eupatorium (Common name Boneset), has medicinal value.  Colonial Americans used a decoction (medicine prepared by boiling thick part of plant in water or some other liquid; ingested hot or cold) and/or poultice (soft, moist mass of plant parts wrapped in muslin or gauze and applied the skin) to treat snake bites. During the Civil War, when medical supplies were short, some species of boneset tea were used by Confederate troops as a substitute for quinine in fighting fevers.  The tea brewed from Boneset was renowned as a cure for break-bone fever (an old-fashion term for an illness characterized by fever, joint and muscle pain) in the old South.  Hence the name boneset.  Thoroughwort was another early name because of its thoroughness in treating fevers.

OtherCommonName:

Late Flowering Boneset

ScientificName:

Eupatorium serotinum

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

1 ½ to 6 feet

FruitingTime:

August to November

Distribution:

Connecticut to Florida ~ Coastal plain and Delaware Valley in New Jersey

FloweringTime:

Mid August to late October

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Leaves opposite, oval to lance shaped, serrated, less hairy than stem ~ Flowers tubular, 9 to 15 per head, white ~ Bushy branches above