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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eupatorium japonicum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Eupatorium

Some 36–60, and see text

Eupatorium is a genus of flowering plants, containing from 36 to 60 species depending on the classification system. Most are herbaceous perennial plants growing to 0.5–3 m tall. A few are shrubs. The genus is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Most are commonly called bonesets, thoroughworts or snakeroots.


Systematics and taxonomy

Eupatorium has at times been held to contain as many as 800 species[1], but many of these have been moved (at least by some authors) to other genera, including Ageratina, Chromolaena, Condylidium, Conoclinium, Critonia, Cronquistianthus, Eutrochium, Fleischmannia, Flyriella, Hebeclinium, Koanophyllon, Mikania, and Tamaulipa [2].

The classification of the tribe Eupatorieae, including species placed in Eupatorium in the present or past, is an area of ongoing research, so further changes are likely. What seems fairly certain by now is that there is a monophyletic group containing Eupatorium (about 42 species of white flowered plants in North America, Europe and Asia, but not South America) and the Joe-pye weeds (Eutrochium), and possibly others.[3]


Eupatorium is grown as ornamental plants, in particular in Asia.[4] A number of popular ornamental plants formerly included in Eupatorium have been moved to other genera, such as Bartlettina and Conoclinium.

Tobacco leaf curl virus is a pathogen occasionally affecting plants of this genus.


Medical use

The common names for the plants are all based on the previous usage of one species, Eupatorium perfoliatum, as an herbal medicine. Boneset alludes to the use of the plant to treat broken bones, although it may also come from its use to treat dengue fever, which was also called breakbone fever because of the pain that it caused. The name thoroughwort also comes from Eupatorium perfoliatum, and refers to the perfoliate leaves, in which the stem appears to pierce (i.e. go through, note that in older usage "thorough" was not distinguished from "through", compare for example the word thoroughfare) the leaf. Boneset, although poisonous to humans and grazing livestock, has been used in folk medicine[5], for instance to excrete excess uric acid which causes gout. Eupatorium has many more presumed beneficial uses, including treatment of dengue fever, arthritis, certain infectious diseases, migraine, intestinal worms, malaria, and diarrhoea. Boneset infusions are also considered an excellent remedy for influenza. Scientific research of these applications is rudimentary at present, however.

Caution is advised when using boneset, since it contains toxic compounds that can cause liver damage. Side effects include muscular tremors, weakness, and constipation; overdoses may be deadly.

Selected species

Hemp-agrimony, Eupatorium cannabinum
Common Boneset, Eupatorium perfoliatum

North America



Moved to other genera


  1. ^ Whittemore (1987)
  2. ^ King, R. M. and H. Robinson. 1987. The genera of Eupatorieae (Asteraceae). Monographs in Systematic Botany, Missouri Botanical Garden 22: 1-581.
  3. ^ Ito et al. (2000), Schmidt & Schilling (2006)
  4. ^ SASAKI YOHEI, MATSUMOTO ATSUSHI, TAKIDO MICHIO, YOSHIMURA MAMORU, NAGUMO SEIJI (2006). "Study on Eupatorium Plants Called "Fujibakama"". Japanese Journal of Pharmacognosy 60 (1): 15–20. ISSN 1349-9114.  
  5. ^ Sharma et al. (1999)
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai Schmidt & Schilling (2000)
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Eupatorium". Flora of North America.  
  8. ^ Kunsiri Chaw Siripun and Edward E. Schilling (2006). "Molecular confirmation of the hybrid origin of Eupatorium godfreyanum (Asteraceae)". American Journal of Botany 93 (2): 319–325. doi:10.3732/ajb.93.2.319.  
  9. ^ Schilling, Edward E.; Leblond, Richard J.; Sorrie, Bruce A.; Weakley, Alan S. (2007). "Relationships Of The New England Boneset, Eupatorium Novae-Angliae (Asteraceae)". Rhodora 109: 145. doi:10.3119/0035-4902(2007)109[145:ROTNEB]2.0.CO;2.  
  10. ^ DL Byers (1998). "Effect of cross proximity on progeny fitness in a rare and a common species of Eupatorium (Asteraceae)". American Journal of Botany 85 (5): 644. doi:10.2307/2446533.  
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Eupatorium". Digital Flora of Taiwan.  
  12. ^ "Eupatorium Linn.". Dinghushan Plant Checklist.  
  13. ^ a b "Asteraceae Tribe Eupatorieae (Draft)". Flora of China. Retrieved 2009-12-01.  
  14. ^ "Eupatorium collinum".  
  15. ^ "Eupatorium collinum". Henriette's Herbal.  
  16. ^ Database entry Ayapana - Ayapana triplinervis - Ayapana - Eupatorium ayapana - Ayapana - Eupatorium triplinerve
  17. ^ Fine Chem Trading (ChemFinder - UK) - Supplier MS8888
  18. ^ "Eupatorium ligustrinum DC.". United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area, Germplasm Resources Information Network.  
  19. ^ "Eupatorium sordidum Less.". USDA PLANTS.  
  20. ^ Webb, C.J.; Sykes, W.R.; Garnock-Jones, P.J. (First electronic edition, Landcare Research, June 2004). "B. sordida". Flora of New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-01-28.  


  • Hatfield, Gabrielle (2004): Encyclopedia of Folk Medicine: Old World and New World Traditions. ABC-CLIO, Inc., Santa Barbara. ISBN 1576078744
  • Ito, Motomi; Watanabe, Kuniaki; Kita, Yoko; Kawahara, Takayuki; Crawford, D.J. & Yahara, Tetsukazu (2000): Phylogeny and Phytogeography of Eupatorium (Eupatorieae, Asteraceae): Insights from Sequence Data of the nrDNA ITS Regions and cpDNA RFLP. Journal of Plant Research 113(1): 79-89. doi:10.1007/PL00013913 (HTML abstract)
  • Lamont, E.E. (1995): Taxonomy of Eupatorium Section Verticillata (Asteraceae). New York Botanical Garden Press. ISBN 0-89327-391-0
  • Longe, Jacqueline L. (2005): The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine (2nd ed., vol. 1). Gale Group, New York. ISBN 0787674249
  • Schmidt, Gregory J. & Schilling, Edward E. (2000): Phylogeny and biogeography of Eupatorium (Asteraceae: Eupatorieae) based on nuclear ITS sequence data. Am. J. Bot. 87(5): 716-726. PMID 10811796 PDF fulltext
  • Sharma, Om P.; Dawra, Rajinder K.; Kurade, Nitin P. & Sharma. Pritam D. (1999): A review of the toxicosis and biological properties of the genus Eupatorium. Natural Toxins 6(1): 1–14. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1522-7189(199802)6:1%3C1::AID-NT3%3E3.0.CO;2-E (HTML abstract)
  • Whittemore, Alan (1987): The Sectional Nomenclature of Eupatorium (Asteraceae). Taxon 36(3): 618-620. doi:10.2307/1221856


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Eupatorium purpureum

Proper noun


  1. (botany) A taxonomic genus, within family Asteraceae, including Joe-Pye weed.

External links


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids II
Ordo: Asterales
Familia: Asteraceae
Subfamilia: Asteroideae
Tribus: Eupatorieae
Genus: Eupatorium
Species: E. altissimum - E. cannabinum - E. capillifolium - E. chinense - E. fortunei - E. glomeratum - E. hiemale - E. japonicum - E. leucolepis - E. lindleyanum - E. oblongifolium - E. perfoliatum - E. resinosum - E. salvia - E. serotinum - E. sessilifolium - E. subhastatum - E. trapezoideum


Eupatorium L.

Excluded species

E. fistulosum - E. maculatum - E. purpureum

Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Category:Eupatorium on Wikimedia Commons.


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