White Thoroughwort

White 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 plants are of value to man as ornamentals; a few are insecticides and fish poisons. The name of this genus, Eupatorium  means “of Eupator” king of Parthia 120-63 B.C. and one of Rome’s most formidable opponents who was supposed to have discovered the medicinal virtues of the Eupatoriums. A common name for these plants is “Joe-Pye” weeds; especially the purple species.  It is said that by 1893 Joe Pye had become the name of a Native American who cured typhus fever in New England by means of this plant. The existence of Joe Pye is in doubt. Some plants in this genus, Eupatorium, have medicinal uses.  The common name “Thoroughwort” refers to the “thoroughness” with which this herb cures medical problems.  “Wort” is the old English name for herb.

OtherCommonName:

Joe-Pie Weed, White Boneset, White-bracted Eupatorium

ScientificName:

Eupatorium album

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

2 to 7 feet

FruitingTime:

Mid-September to late October

Distribution:

Connecticut to Florida ~ Mercer county and southward throughout the coastal plain in New Jersey

FloweringTime:

Late July to September

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Stems mostly solitary from base or stout rhizome, conspicuously spreading ~ Dense flower cluster, dark glands, hairy, whitish ~ Leaves oblong, opposite, coarsely toothed