McCoy Horticultural | Native Plant at a Glance – Eupatorium perfoliatum

October 2020: Eupatorium perfoliatum, aka common boneset, thoroughwort

Eupatorium perfoliatum (common boneset, thoroughwort) is a flowering perennial in the aster family. Its unique white flower clusters make an attractive addition to your native garden and maintain their aesthetic appeal when most other perennials are passed their prime for the year. Like its distinctive cousin Joe-pye weed, boneset grows naturally in wet woodland conditions.

  • 2-4 ft tall
  • Blooms from midsummer to October
  • Can tolerate sun or shade
  • Requires moist or wet soil (think rain garden!)
  • Leaves are used to brew boneset tea (traditionally used to remedy flu and cold symptoms), but should not be consumed in large doses.

Ecological value

  • Attracts bees and other pollinators
  • Nectar source
  • Food source for caterpillars, birds