Gardening Magazine

Eupatorium Perfoliatum (American Boneset)

By John Markowski @jmarkowski0

I've been known to track all of the plants in my yard via spreadsheet, so one would think I could account for each and every one of them. That is usually the case, as I diligently add and subtract from said spreadsheet whenever I acquire or lose a plant along the way. Call me crazy, but it gives me peace of mind, a feeling of control and it looks frickin awesome.
Every once in a while, however, one slips through the cracks and I am genuinely shocked when I see a plant emerge that I had completely forgotten. That was the case recently when I found this bloom hiding behind other plants, completely out of view from just about every angle in my landscape:
Eupatorium perfoliatum (American Boneset)
That would be Eupatorium perfoliatum, commonly known as Boneset as I've learned after some fevered research. This perennial WAS in my spreadsheet but it got lost among all of the other Eupatoriums in the list (Yes, the spreadsheet is sorted first alphabetically by it's botanical name and then by the particular cultivar). If my memory serves me correctly, I purchased this three years ago at a local native plant sale. I believe the tag line that pulled me in was "can handle flooded conditions".
I had planted this in my mostly native and self seeding garden along my driveway and had forgotten about it. I assumed it had become toast like  so many others after one of our lousy winters. But after climbing through the garden to pull a weed, I noticed the whitish bloom and investigated further. Sure enough, she had survived and was thriving. You can see below that the Boneset was hiding behind a mass of Sneezeweed which shielded it completely from view:            
Eupatorium perfoliatum (American Boneset)
Of course, the next step now is to relocate it to a better location, understanding that it can reach as high as five feet tall and three feet wide. The blooms will clash badly with the yellow flowers of the Sneezeweed and we cannot have that under any circumstances.
I do love the shape of the leaves on this plant and the slightly reddish coloration:
Eupatorium perfoliatum (American Boneset)
And of course, the blooms attract a host of creatures:
Eupatorium perfoliatum (American Boneset)
Now I've got to go and update the spreadsheet indicating the exact date I first noticed it blooming.
You know you're jealous.

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