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Eupatorium cannabinum
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Eupatorium
L. 1753 not Bubani 1899 (Rosaceae)[1]
  • Eupatorium sect. Pteropoda DC.
  • Eupatorium sect. Subimbricata Hoffm.
  • Viereckia R.M.King & H.Rob.
  • Chrone Dulac
  • Cunigunda Bubani
  • Pseudokyrsteniopsis R.M.King & H.Rob.
  • Eupatorium sect. Heterolepis Baker
  • Eriopappus Hort. ex Loudon
  • Caradesia Raf.
  • Eupatorium sect. Dalea Loudon
  • Halea L.
  • Eupatoriadelphus R.M.King & H.Rob.

Eupatorium is a genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, containing from 36 to 60 species depending on the classification system. Most are herbaceous perennials growing to 0.5–3 m (1.6–9.8 ft) tall. A few are shrubs. The genus is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Most are commonly called bonesets, thoroughworts or snakeroots in North America. The genus is named for Mithridates Eupator, king of Pontus.[3]

Systematics and taxonomy[edit]

Eupatorium has at times been held to contain as many as 800 species,[4] but many of these have been moved (at least by some authors) to other genera, including Ageratina, Chromolaena, Condylidium, Conoclinium, Critonia, Cronquistianthus, Eutrochium, Fleischmannia, Flyriella, Hebeclinium, Koanophyllon, Mikania, and Tamaulipa.[5]

The classification of the tribe Eupatorieae, including species placed in Eupatorium in the present or past, is an area of ongoing research, so further changes are likely. What seems fairly certain by now is that there is a monophyletic group containing Eupatorium (about 42 species of white flowered plants in North America, Europe and Asia, but not South America) and the Joe-pye weeds (Eutrochium), and possibly others.[6]


Eupatorium are grown as ornamental plants, particularly in Asia.[7] A number of popular ornamental plants formerly included in Eupatorium have been moved to other genera, such as Bartlettina and Conoclinium.

Tobacco leaf curl virus is a pathogen occasionally affecting plants of this genus. The foliage is eaten by some Lepidoptera larvae, including those of Orthonama obstipata (The Gem).

Medical use[edit]

The common names for the plants are all based on the previous usage of one species, Eupatorium perfoliatum, as an herbal medicine. Despite its name, boneset is not used to treat broken bones,[8][unreliable source?] instead the common name apparently derives from the herb's use to treat dengue fever, which was also called breakbone fever because of the pain that it caused. The name thoroughwort also comes from Eupatorium perfoliatum, and refers to the perfoliate leaves, in which the stem appears to pierce the leaf (i.e. go through, note that in older usage "thorough" was not distinguished from "through", compare for example the word thoroughfare).

Boneset, although poisonous to humans and grazing livestock, has been used in folk medicine,[9] for instance to excrete excess uric acid which causes gout. Caution is advised when using boneset, since it contains toxic compounds that can cause liver damage.[citation needed] Side effects include muscular tremors, weakness, and constipation; overdoses may be deadly.

Selected species[edit]

Hemp-agrimony, Eupatorium cannabinum
Common boneset, Eupatorium perfoliatum

North America[edit]



Eupatorium makinoi

Moved to other genera[edit]


  1. ^ Tropicos search for Eupatorium
  2. ^ Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist
  3. ^ Gledhill, David (2008). The Names of Plants (4 ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-521-86645-3.
  4. ^ Whittemore (1987)
  5. ^ King R. M., Robinson H. (1987). "The genera of Eupatorieae (Asteraceae)". Monographs in Systematic Botany, Missouri Botanical Garden. 22: 1–581.
  6. ^ Ito et al. (2000), Schmidt & Schilling (2006)
  7. ^ Sasaki Yohei; Matsumoto Atsushi; Takido Michio; Yoshimura Mamoru; Nagumo Seiji (2006). "Study on Eupatorium Plants Called "Fujibakama"". Japanese Journal of Pharmacognosy. 60 (1): 15–20. ISSN 1349-9114. Archived from the original on 2008-08-22.
  8. ^ "Boneset".
  9. ^ Sharma et al. (1999)
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai Schmidt & Schilling (2000)
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Eupatorium". Flora of North America.
  12. ^ a b Edward E. Schilling; Kunsiri Chaw Siripun (2016). "Systematics of the Eupatorium mohrii Complex (Asteraceae)". Systematic Botany. 41 (3): x–y. doi:10.1600/036364416X692361. S2CID 89429550.
  13. ^ Kunsiri Chaw Siripun; Edward E. Schilling (2006). "Molecular confirmation of the hybrid origin of Eupatorium gaurav Singh godfreyanum (Asteraceae)". American Journal of Botany. 93 (2): 319–325. doi:10.3732/ajb.93.2.319. PMID 21646192.
  14. ^ a b Schilling, Edward E.; Leblond, Richard J.; Sorrie, Bruce A.; Weakley, Alan S. (2007). "Relationships Of The New England Boneset, Eupatorium Novae-Angliae (Asteraceae)". Rhodora. 109 (938): 145. doi:10.3119/0035-4902(2007)109[145:ROTNEB]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0035-4902. S2CID 86020312.
  15. ^ DL Byers (1998). "Effect of cross proximity on progeny fitness in a rare and a common species of Eupatorium (Asteraceae)". American Journal of Botany. 85 (5): 644–653. doi:10.2307/2446533. JSTOR 2446533. PMID 21684945.
  16. ^ Edward E. Schilling (2011). "Systematics of the Eupatorium album complex (Asteraceae) from eastern North America". Systematic Botany. 36 (4): 1088–1100. doi:10.1600/036364411X605083. S2CID 86157020.
  17. ^ a b c d e f "Eupatorium". Digital Flora of Taiwan.
  18. ^ "Eupatorium Linn". Dinghushan Plant Checklist.
  19. ^ a b "Asteraceae Tribe Eupatorieae (Draft)". Flora of China. Archived from the original on 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2009-12-01.
  20. ^ "Eupatorium collinum".
  21. ^ "Eupatorium collinum". Henriette's Herbal.
  22. ^ Database entry Ayapana - Ayapana triplinervis - Ayapana - Eupatorium ayapana - Ayapana - Eupatorium triplinerve
  23. ^ Fine Chem Trading (ChemFinder - UK) - Supplier MS8888
  24. ^ "Eupatorium ligustrinum". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  25. ^ "Eupatorium sordidum Less". USDA PLANTS.
  26. ^ Webb, C.J.; Sykes, W.R.; Garnock-Jones, P.J. (June 2004). "B. sordida". Flora of New Zealand (First electronic ed.). Landcare Research. Retrieved 2008-01-28.