Outdoors Recreation

In Bloom: Boneset

By Suzanne Wodek

A large perennial wildflower, Eupatorium perfoliatum—commonly called boneset—is a hairy, clump-forming, native plant that typically occurs in wet soils, thickets, stream banks and meadows. The foliage may scorch if soils are allowed to dry out.

Common boneset. Anne Holmes, artist

Closely related to Joe-Pye weed it can grow up to 6 feet, but is typically around 4 feet tall. Flat-topped clusters of small, fluffy, white flowers appear above the foliage. The base of the pairs of opposite, lance-shaped, medium green leaves unite to surround the hairy stems (perfoliatum meaning “through the foliage”). There are no serious insect or disease problems.

Historically, boneset was commonly included in medical herb gardens as a folk medicine for treatment of flu, fevers, colds and a variety of other diseases or ailments. Some authorities claim the name boneset refers to the former use of the plant as an aid in the healing process for broken bones. Others claim that the name refers to the plant’s use as a medicine to treat breakbone fever in the 18th century.

Upcoming Events

Exploring Your Natural World with a Sketchbook with Carol Parks
Sunday, September 17, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Centuries ago, both professional and amateur naturalists learned that a field journal is an effective way to record outdoor observations. A sketch book inspires us to slow down and really look at the fascinating plant and animal life along the trail and in our own backyards. Meet in the classroom to learn basic drawing techniques and discuss written content your journal might include. In the Garden we will begin to fill the sketch book pages. Check the website for supplies you need to bring to the class.

Gardening for Birds with Sarah Coury
Saturday, September 23, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Dive into developing a rich and diverse bird-friendly garden throughout every season, including favorite plant species and other habitat features and landscaping best practices. Class begins with a slide presentation followed by a Garden walk.

Botanical Gardens at Asheville, located at 151 W.T. Weaver Boulevard, is a nonprofit organization housing a collection of plants native to the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Gardens are open sunrise to sunset. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated and memberships are encouraged.The gift shop, carrying garden-themed items and books, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Membership benefits include a discount of 10 percent on purchases in the gift shop, an extensive collection of gardening and nature books in the Cole Library that members can check out (reference collection not included), our quarterly New Leaf newsletter, and tours and programs at a reduced rate. Learn more at AshevilleBotanicalGardens.org.

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