Common boneset

Eupatorium perfoliatum L.

Family: Asteraceae (aster)

  • Bloom Period:
    • Late,
  • Growth Cycle:
    • Perennial,
  • Growth Habit:
    • Forbs/Herbs,
  • Insect Type Attracted:
    • Natural Enemy,
    • Pollinator,
  • Light:
    • Full,
    • Partial,
  • Region:
    • Northern Lower Peninsula,
    • Southern Lower Peninsula,
    • Upper Peninsula,
  • Soil Moisture:
    • Dry,
    • Medium,
    • Wet
  • Height:
    • 3-5ft

Natural enemies attracted

Highly attractive: Orius insidiousus, Plagiognathus politus, Chalcidoidea, and Cantharidae.

Moderately attractive: Thomisidae and Cynipoidea.

Mildly attractive: Sphecidae, Empididae, Coccinellidae, Salticidae, Braconidae and Nabidae.

Pollinators attracted

Moderately attractive: bees including sweat bees, small carpenter bees, digger bees, and bumble bees.

Pests attracted

Highly attractive: lygus bugs.

Moderately attractive: leaf beetles and weevils.

Mildly attractive: thrips, leafhoppers and aphids.

Plant notes

White, flat, flower clusters grew on plants 3-5 ft tall. These plants filled in well and the floral display was prolific, with a solid carpet of white at plant tops when in full bloom. Plants bloomed from August through early September, peaking in the end of August. In addition to a large number of natural enemies, many other insects were seen at these, including moths and butterflies. This was the most attractive species in the late season and the entire season to natural enemies, with 20 times more natural enemies than the grass control.


This species likes full sun to partial shade, and fairly dry to very wet locations. It occurs naturally in a variety of moist habitats, including marshes, swales, wet fields, fens, shores, thickets, low clearings, and on river and stream banks.

Cultivation and management

Common boneset can be grown from seed (It flowers in the second or third year.) or plug material (flowers in first or second year). We saw no evidence of deer or other vertebrate browsing on this species.