On the fourth Wednesday of each month I join Gail at Clay and Limestone for Wildflower Wednesday to celebrate flowering native plants in my garden. November's choice is Boneset.
Researching plants is fun but when I find multiple common or botanical names for the same or similar plants it can be confusing. Such is the case with Bonesets. Boneset, Throughwort (Thoroughwort), Fragrant Mistflower, Havana Snakeroot, Agueweed, Crosswort, Indian Sage, are all names for Eupatorium havenense. Very fragrant and highly attractive to bees, the white blossoms scent the air each fall.
The term Boneset derives from early medicinal uses when a tea made from the plant was used to treat Denque Fever which was also known as "breakbone fever" due to the pain it caused.
Throughwort or thoroughwort apparently refers to the way the stem appears to grow through the leaf although I couldn't quite see that in my garden.
The bees are particularly attracted to throughwort and are often seen chasing butterflies away though this snout butterfly seems to have found a moment of peace with the delicate white blooms.
All those names cover only the white mistflower currently blooming in the garden but there are more. There are two blue mistflowers which may or may not have been tossed out of the Eupatorium class depending on which source you consult. They all remain in the aster family...for now.
A Boneset by any other name....?
Gregg's mistflower, Palmleaf throughwort (thoroughwort), Palm-leaf mistflower, Purple palmleaf mistflower, Purple palmleaf eupatorium is also referred to as Boneset in many sources. The botanical name is Conoclinium greggii or Conoclinium dissectum and previously known as Eupatorium greggii. Clear enough?
The butterflies can't stay away from this plant. Gregg's mistflower dies back in my Zone 8b garden even in a mild winter.
Monarchs love it too
As if it weren't enough to have one blue mistflower there's another named Crucita, Jack in the bush, Fragrant boneset, Butterfly Mistflower, Fragrant mistflower , Blue mistflower, Christmas Bush, and Slamweed. Slamweed? Really? The botanical names include Chromolaena odorata, Eupatorium odoratum, Osmia odorata.
Commonly called Crucita in San Antonio, it is native to Texas and Florida. I added it to my garden after seeing it at Mitchell Lake Audubon Center in October.
It's very fragrant, and covered with butterflies during the bloom season. Crucita is a nectar source popular with Monarch and Queen butterflies. After planting one along the woods this fall (above) I realized I probably already had one shared by a friend and planted in the border against the fence. Crucita is new in my garden but it is said to be semi-evergreen which means it will only die back in a colder winter. Very drought tolerant, they do need some supplemental water in dry summers.
Whatever their names, Bonesets certainly smell sweet and are wonderful plants in my garden attracting masses of butterflies and bees throughout the season.
This visitor watched me take photos and reminds me to let you know that all the Boneset plants in my garden have not had a single deer nibble.
Blue mistflower is planted in part shade where it is said to do best while the Throughwort and Gregg's Mistflower are doing well in full sun though I have noted they also enjoy part shade.
For more wildflowers from blogger's gardens head on over to Clay and Limestone.