Brickellia eupatorioides (L.) Shinners

False Boneset

Brickellia eupatorioides plant2

Family - Asteraceae

Habit - Perennial forb, often with thickened roots.

Stems - Ascending to erect, single or multiple, to 1.2 m, densely and finely hairy, occasionally nearly glabrous.

Brickellia eupatorioides stem2Stem and nodes.

Leaves - Alternate, numerous, closely spaced and sometime appearing almost whorled, sessile or short-petiolate, simple. Blades to 10 cm, linear or lanceolate or narrowly elliptic, short-tapered at the base, tapered to a sharply pointed tip, the margins entire or irregularly few-toothed, the upper surface somewhat roughened or glabrous, the undersurface sparsely to moderately and finely hairy, sometimes only along the veins, both surfaces moderately to densely glandular.

Brickellia eupatorioides stem3Stem and leaves.

Brickellia eupatorioides leaf1Leaf adaxial.

Brickellia eupatorioides leaf2Leaf abaxial.

Brickellia eupatorioides leavesPressed leaves.

Inflorescence - small panicles or stalked clusters of heads at the branch tips, the heads usually erect or ascending

Brickellia eupatorioides inflorescenceInflorescence.

Heads - Discoid. Involucre 7-15 mm long, cylindrical or narrowly cup-shaped. Bracts numerous, in several overlapping, unequal series, linear, glandular, glabrous or finely hairy.

Brickellia eupatorioides involucre2Involucres.

Brickellia eupatorioides flowersSingle head.

Ray flowers - Absent.

Disk flowers - 3-35 per head. Corollas 4-6 mm long, cream colored or pale yellow. Styles exserted at anthesis. Pappus of 20-25 bristles, plumose.

Brickellia eupatorioides floretsDisk florets.

Fruits - Achenes, 3-5 mm, linear or nearly so in profile, 10-ribbed, minutely hairy, dark brown.

Brickellia eupatorioides fruitsFruiting heads.

Brickellia eupatorioides fruitsFruits.

Flowering - July - October.

Habitat - Upland prairies, sand prairies, loess hill prairies, glades, savannas, forest openings, ledges and tops of bluffs, pastures, roadsides.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Lookalikes - Eupatorium altissimum, other species in the Eupatorium genus.

Other info. - This species is found throughout most of Missouri, and throughout most of the U.S. except for a few far western and northeastern states. It can be confused with a somewhat more common close relative, Eupatorium altissimum, but note that the latter plant usually has wider, opposite leaves, more dense inflorescences, and disk corollas which are white. The plant is quite variable and, as always, reliable determination is aided by experience. Steyermark and Yatskievych both recognized three varieties (var. corymbulosa, var. eupatorioides, and var. texana) based upon subtle aspects of the involucral bracts. The three are all fairly common in Missouri, are lacking in any obvious regional preferences, and can be difficult to distinguish.

A former name for this species was Kuhnia eupatorioides L.

Photographs taken in Emminence, MO., 9-28-03, and at the Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife refuge, AL., 10-2-05 (DETenaglia); also at St. Joe State Park, St. Francois County, MO, 9-12-2012 and 9-2-2016; Cuivre River State Park, Lincoln County, MO, 8-15-2014; and Onondaga Cave State Park, Crawford County, MO, 9-11-2017 (SRTurner).