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false boneset (Brickellia eupatorioides)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMON NAMES:

false boneset

 

SCIENTIFIC SYNONYMS:

Brickellia rosemarinifolia (Vent.) W.A. Weber, orth. var.

Brickellia rosmarinifolia (Vent.) W.A. Weber

Kuhnia eupatorioides L.

Kuhnia eupatorioides L. var. angustifolia Raf.

Kuhnia eupatorioides L. var. gracilis Torr. & A. Gray

Kuhnia eupatorioides L. var. pyramidalis Raf.

Kuhnia glutinosa Elliott

Kuhnia rosemarinifolia Vent., orth. var.

Kuhnia rosmarinifolia Vent.

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Pending confirmation.

 

TAXONOMY: The currently accepted scientific name for false boneset is Brickellia eupatorioides (L.) Shinners var. eupatorioides. There are up to 6 varieties of Brickellia eupatorioides in North America, with var. eupatorioides the only variety observed in Virginia.

 

NATIVE STATUS: Native, United States.

 

GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS:

 

Habit: Stems are single or multiple from the base, densely covered in short fine hairs, initially green and often becoming reddish brown with age, and woody at the base.

 

Leaves: Leaves are 1 to 4 inches long and up to about 1 inch wide, toothless or with a few scattered coarse teeth, variously hairy, dotted with glands on the underside, tapering to a pointed tip, with a single prominent vein. Lower leaves are short stalked, becoming stalkless in the upper plant. Attachment is alternate but leaves may be densely packed and some may appear opposite.

 

Flowers: Branching clusters, sometimes a flat or round cluster at the top of the plant, or open and loose on branching stems. Flower heads are stalked, rayless (no petals) but have 15 to 30 disk flowers each with 5 tiny lobes and a forked, creamy white to pale yellow, thread-like style protruding from the center. The bracts are very narrow, flat to somewhat spreading, sometimes tinged purple at the tip, and form a cylinder nearly ½ inch long around the base of the flower head.

 

Fruits/Seeds: Fruit is a dry seed with a tuft of dull white to light brown hairs to carry it off in the wind.

 

Roots: False boneset has a very long taproot, growing to 16 feet deep and sending up multiple stems from the taproot.

 

REGENERATION PROCESS: False boneset propogates itself by reseeding. Seed distribution is provided by the wind.

 

HABITAT TYPES: False boneset habitats include dry upland areas of black soil prairies, gravel prairies, dolomite prairies, clay prairies, hill prairies, bluffs, limestone glades, open woodlands, and sandy savannas. It also occurs in disturbed areas such as along railroad embankments.

 

SITE CHARACTERISTICS: False boneset prefers full sun (although some shade is tolerated) and dry to average moisture.This plant prefers poor soil that contains too much clay, sand, or gravel, and it can thrive on slopes.

 

SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT: The blooming period occurs during late summer or early fall, and lasts about a month.

 

GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: False boneset naturally occurs from Florida to New York and New Jersey (not into New England) and westard across the Ohio Valley south through Missouri, Arkansas, and into Texas. It does not naturally occur in the Prairie states, nor in the Rocky Mountain, southwest, or Pacific Coast states.

 

SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION: To be determined.

 

IMPORTANCE AND USES: Bumblebees, leaf-cutting bees (Megachile spp.), Halictid bees, and other bees visit the flowerheads for nectar and pollen. Butterflies, skippers, and probably other insects visit the flowerheads for nectar and/or pollen too. The caterpillars of some flower moths feed destructively on the flowerheads and developing seeds; they include such species as Schinia trifascia (three-lined flower moth), Schinia oleagina (oleagina flower moth), and Schinia grandimedia (false boneset flower oth). Other insects feeders include Lygus lineolaris (tarnished plant bug) and other polyphagous stink bugs, Aphis coreopsidis (an aphid), and larvae of a Noctuid moth, Dichagyris grotei. In addition, such grasshoppers as Melanoplus confusus (little pasture grasshopper), Melanoplus differentialis (differential grasshopper), Melanoplus keeleri (Keeler's grasshopper), and Melanoplus discolor (contrasting spur-throated grasshopper) feed on false boneset. The last grasshopper is monophagous on this plant. Mammalian herbivores browse on false boneset occasionally when little else is available, but its foliage is bitter and overall food value is low.

 

 

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