Brickellia eupatorioides (False Boneset)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||sun; dry to average moisture; prairies, open woods, along railroads, bluffs|
|Bloom season:||August - September|
|Plant height:||1 to 4 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Branching clusters, sometimes a flat or round cluster at the top of the plant, or open and loose on branching stems. Flower heads are stalked, rayless (no petals) but have 15 to 30 disk flowers each with 5 tiny lobes and a forked, creamy white to pale yellow, thread-like style protruding from the center. The bracts are very narrow, flat to somewhat spreading, sometimes tinged purple at the tip, and form a cylinder nearly ½ inch long around the base of the flower head.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are 1 to 4 inches long and up to about 1 inch wide, toothless or with a few scattered coarse teeth, variously hairy, dotted with glands on the underside, tapering to a pointed tip, with a single prominent vein. Lower leaves are short stalked, becoming stalkless in the upper plant. Attachment is alternate but leaves may be densely packed and some may appear opposite. Stems are single or multiple from the base, densely covered in short fine hairs, initially green and often becoming reddish brown with age, and woody at the base.
False Boneset (formerly Kuhnia eupatorioides) has a very long taproot, growing to 16 feet deep. While the flowers vaguely resemble those of Eupatorium species, the leaves of each species should readily tell them apart. Common Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) has broader perfoliate leaves (opposite leaf pairs that join around the stem) and Tall Boneset (Eupatorium altissimum) has leaves with consistent toothing around the tip half, and 3 distinct parallel veins. There are up to 6 varieties of Brickellia eupatorioides in North America, with var. corymbulosa found in Minnesota and most of middle America.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Battle Creek Regional Park, Ramsey County, and Hastings Sand Coulee SNA, Dakota County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Dakota County.
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