Wildflower Wednesday: Boneset


Common Name: Boneset

Scientific Name: Eupatorium perfoliatum

Habitat & Range: wet ditches, meadows, and roadsides

Bloom Time: summer and fall

About: Boneset is yet another white, flat-topped flower you will find in bloom in the summertime. The flower resembles Yarrow, but it is easily identified by its unique rough leaves, which are joined to the opposite leaf at the base so that it looks like the stem goes right through one large leaf. (Unfortunately, the specimen in my photo below had well-chewed leaves so you can’t really tell.) It’s an important nectar plant and has been used medicinally in the past to treat dengue fever. However, it is toxic to humans, so this is another plant you have to be careful with. Old herbals may advocate its use as a tea to treat coughs and colds, but it can cause liver damage, muscle tremors, and other problems. Overdose can be deadly. Best to leave it to the butterflies.


Reference: Wildflowers of Michigan by Stan Tekiela; Adventure Publications, 2000

(also Wikipedia)

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