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Illinois Native Plant Guide - Common Boneset - Pages 84-85

Illinois Native Plant Guide

Common Boneset
Eupatorium perfoliatum

Preferred Water Depth and Inundation Tolerance

Prefers moist soil. Tolerates inundation to a depth of 6 inches early in the season, as found in wet meadows, marsh edges, fens, and prairie swales.

Wildlife Value

Achenes are eaten by waterfowl, turkey, and swamp sparrow. Mallards and grouse eat leaves. Attracts butterflies. Also provides cover for small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.


Used in upper shoreline zones and in vegetated swales. Fibrous root system binds soil and resists erosion. Provides good ground cover.

Availability, Establishment, and Maintenance

  • Seed is best. Sow fine seed on soil surface in the fall or spring. No germination treatment is necessary.
  • Can also be propagated by division of rootstock in the fall or spring.

Common Boneset
Eupatorium perfoliatum

Mature Height
2-3 feetCommon Boneset

Plant Type
Perennial herb

Indicator Status
Facultative Wet (+)

Not available

Nutrient Load Tolerance
Low to moderate

Salt Tolerance
Not available

Siltation Tolerance
Low to moderate

Flowering Color and Time
August to October

Light Preference
Full sun

Seeding Rate
.125 lbs/acre

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