Throwback T-day: A Tale of 2 Eupatoriums

marylou-rethman-trish-white-susan-boyd-lee-day-w-e-serotinumMarylou Rethman (Class of 2009), Trish White (Class of 2002), Susan Boyd (Class of 2003) & Lee Day (Class of 2001 for her husband Joel) provide scale on 9-25-2009 at Captain Forster Preserve. This photo was taken adjacent to the ponds near the entrance.

Dogfennel (Eupatorium capillifolium) is toward the back of the photo, and late-flowering thoroughwort (Eupatorium serotinum), full of white flowers, is toward the front.

A native but aggressive perennial, dogfennel is characterized as “the number one commonly occurring pasture weed in Florida”, according to the University of Florida: Click here to read more. The pungent scent emitted from crushed leaves can confirm ID in the field. Some folks find the scent pleasing, while other people do not; Florida native Peggy Brinson spoke of harvesting dogfennel to place in her doll house to freshen it.

Late-flowering thoroughwort is less weedy in Florida than dogfennel, though in parts of its range (the entire eastern U.S.), late-flowering throughwort, also known as late boneset, can be very aggressive. Its flowers quite profusely, usually in the late fall with flat-topped clusters of tiny white flowers. Bees, wasps, butterflies, and other pollinators flock to this nectar and pollen-laden plant.



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