Parthenium integrifolium (Wild Quinine)
|Also known as:||American Feverfew|
|Habitat:||sun; dry to average moisture; remnant prairies, savannas, along railroads|
|Bloom season:||June - September|
|Plant height:||1 to 3 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Compact, flat-topped branching clusters of short-stalked flowers at the top of the plant and arising from the top-most leaf axils. Flowers are white, ¼ to 1/3 inch across, with 5 (sometimes 6) short, widely spaced rays (petals) around a white, dome-shaped center disk, the disk flowers covered in short hairy scales. Dark brownish-black styles poke out from the ray and disk flowers. The bracts are pale green to white, short hairy on the outer surface. Flower stalks are also short-hairy.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are generally lance to egg-shaped, coarsely toothed and crinkly or wavy around the edges, the surfaces mostly rough textured. Basal leaves are up to 12 inches long and 5 inches wide and have long stalks that are typically winged. The alternate stem leaves become smaller and shorter stalked as they ascend the stem, with the uppermost leaves stalkless and sometimes clasping. Stems are round or faintly ribbed, usually smooth on the lower plant and rough, short hairy in the upper, and unbranched except in the flower clusters.
Wild Quinine is easily identified by its flowers, which are pretty unique compared to other Minnesota species. While it may be found planted in parks and restored natural areas, Minnesota is on the northwest tip of its natural range and it's rarely found in the wild except along protected railroad rights of way and a few prairie and savanna remnants in the southeast counties. According to the DNR, it was listed as an Endangered species in 1984, largely due to habitat loss from agriculture.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Wild Quinine plant
- Wild Quinine plants
- a trio of rare species: Wild Quinine, Rattlesnake Master, Sullivant's Milkweed
- basal leaf clump
- clasping leaf
Photos by K. Chayka and Peter M. Dziuk taken at Iron Horse Prairie, Dodge County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?