Eupatorium perfoliatum, Common Boneset

Eupatorium perfoliatum

Common Boneset

  • Full sun or light shade
  • Prefers a high moisture setting but will grow in an averagly moist garden bed.
  • In garden settings height seems to be around 3' but in wet areas I've heard reports of them reaching 6' in height. Width can also vary so I'd recommend a spacing of between 18" and 36" depending on hiw much moisture will be available.
  • Garden settings and moist meadows.

Quite a bit of what I know about this plant came from the (highly recommended) book Plants Have So Much to Give Us, All We Have to Do Is Ask: Anishinaabe Botanical Teachings, by Mary Siisip Geniusz. She teaches both about their growth and needs and about the gifts of food, healing, shelter and wisdom that plants offer as they care for us.

There has been a Boneset in the Ottawa garden for a couple of years but they don’t seem to be entirely thrilled with the dryish conditions found in most of the yard. The new location, near where the rain falls off of my shed/greenhouse roof seems to be slightly more to their liking, but I’ll see what next year brings.

Their preferred setting is in the seasonally flooded hydro cut in Perth, where they have lots and lots of moisture until the end of June and again any time there is a heavy rainfall in the supper that refills the bowl in the bedrock.

Their bloom season roughly coincides with Joe-Pye-Weed and they were once considered to be in the same genus, but Joe-Pye was recently moved from Eupatorium to Eutrochium.  

A straightforward means of distinguishing these from other wetland species of similar growth is how the leaves clasp tightly to the stem without any petiole (leaf stem).

In uncultivated spaces they can most often be found in wetlands, along shorelines and in seasonally flooded settings. In the garden, they do have a preference for moisture so I would recommend a location hear a downspout, water garden or a seasonally soggy drainage swale.

Much shorter than Joe-Pye, I’ve observed a height range of between 2’ and 4’ with a couple of foot spread, although that might increase with time if they have a bit more personal space than is often found in dense plant communities. They seem to be equally happy in full sun and partially shaded locations.

Related products

The Online Plant Nursery will re-open for orders on Tuesday, May 17th

Pickups will begin the following week.

I will be offering plug sized plants for $1.25 each or 5 for $5. 

I'm in the process of adding species that I expect to offer this spring to the listings since they are starting to germinate and I'm starting to get an idea of which will be available in abundant quantities.

Since the list is much longer this year I've added several categories to help narrow down your options based on a variety of criteria.

For those who have already adopted seedlings, planting instructions can be found here.