Common Boneset

Common Boneset

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Eupatorium perfoliatum

Origin: Eastern North America

Improvement Status: Cultivated material

Seeds per packet: ~240


Life cycle: Perennial

Common boneset is native to the eastern half of North America. Indigenous people reportedly taught European settlers of its use as a treatment for fevers, and it has remained popular as an herbal medicine from colonial times to the present day. Recent studies have demonstrated its anti-inflammatory abilities. It is even being studied as an anti-parasitic for the treatment of malaria. (However it is not recommended to aid in setting bones: the name apparently comes from the mistaken belief that since its leaves look fused to each other around the stem, it might help bones fuse together.) Tea made from the leaves is said to be very bitter. The frilly white flowers are well-loved by pollinators, and the foliage is a preferred food for some beautiful butterflies.

Our seed was produced by Aaron Parker of Edgewood Nursery in Maine.

GROWING TIPS: Boneset prefers damp soil and pond edges, so keep it well watered. It can handle full sun, but also quite a lot of shade. Seeds should be sown in fall or winter or artificially cold stratified for 30+ days before sowing. Seeds should be surface sown, as they are quite small. Because of the small seed starting in containers, indoors or out, is recommended. The small windblown seeds easily self sow, so deadheading is worthwhile if you don't want them popping up here and there.