Eupatorium is Latin for Mithridates Eupator (134 – 63 BC), king of Pontus, who first recorded medicinal uses; perfoliatum is Latin for the appearance of perforation of the leaves by the stem.
Damp fields, stream edges and bogs.
Late-season blooms for beauty and pollinators; any moist garden, depression or stream edge.
Showy perennial with fuzzy clusters of tiny, white flowers atop 3 - 6 foot erect, fibrous, non-branching stems. Found in damp fields, stream edges, and bogs, as it prefers moist soil and sun, although it tolerates part-sun and light shade.
Leaves and Stems
Paired, simple, deep green, stalkless leaves, up to 8 inches long, unite basally to surround—or appear to be perforated by—the stem. Leaves are very finely toothed, and triangular to long and tapering. Stems are deep green, fibrous and hairy.
White, fuzzy, flat-topped flower clusters each contain 9 to 23 disc florets, which lack petals.
Fruit is tufted or bristled for wind-powered seed-dispersal.
A variety of insects, birds and butterflies are attracted to the nectar and seeds of this plant. Generally it is not attractive to mammals, but it is occasionally browsed.
Sow seeds thickly in the autumn, as germination rate is low. Divide clumps in spring or autumn.
Historically was included in bandages around splints to aid healing in cases of fracture, an idea possibly related to the fused leaves. Also used in a wide variety of tinctures and tonics, including for colds, fever and constipation.
South Woods (see garden map)
Plant Profile by Kate O’Dell