Plants of the week: Bonesets (Eupatorium pilosum, Eupatorium pubescens, Eupatorium saltuense, Eupatorium serotinum)

Second-year plants in 3 quart pots – $5 each

5 plants for $20 (Any combination of species)

ISF 08-28-17 (2)

The bonesets are a diverse group of native plants that are generally 4 – 5 feet tall and produce generous clusters of small white flowers.  Depending on the species, peak bloom is as early as July or as late as October.  While the white flowers are not visually stunning to most humans, they are extremely attractive to insects.  Like mountain mints, the bonesets support a very wide array of pollinators.  The small flowers allow insects with shorter “tongues” to sip nectar and the wide clusters of flowers provide a convenient platform for butterflies to land and feed. Species of Eupatorium are an important component of meadows and “waste places”.  One of the damp meadows where I collect seeds has a minimum of 6 different species and the late Summer landscape is dominated by their white flowers with insects buzzing around them.  No naturalized area created with pollinators in mind should be without bonesets.

All of the bonesets on sale prefer partial to full sun.  Eupatorium pubescens (Hairy Boneset) and Eupatorium saltuense (Pasture Boneset) are fine with moist or dry soils.  Some sources suggest that Eupatorium serotinum (Late-flowering Boneset) prefers moist soils; but I see this plant growing in some of the harshest environments around Richmond.  I think it would grow in a crack in the sidewalk.  This species is also the tallest among the plants on sale – in an artificial landscape it can grow over 6 feet tall.  Eupatorium pilosum (Rough Boneset) generally grows in moist soils and makes a great rain garden plant.

For more pictures and information, consult the Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora (

Due to the pandemic, sales are by pre-order only with contact-free pick-up/payment.  To order, send an email to:

The complete plant list can be viewed here:…/RCE%20Plant%20List%202020.docx…

Stay safe.



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