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For Your Garden - July 2020

Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.

tall boneset (Eupatorium altissimum)

Tall boneset is also known as tall thoroughwort. This perennial herb has pointed, stalkless leaves. The paired leaves are opposite each other on the stem. Each simple, entire, toothed leaf is lance‐shaped or oval. Clusters of white flowers are borne in small, fuzzy heads. The one‐seeded fruit is dry and hard. Tall boneset may attain a height of eight feet. Tall boneset may be found statewide in Illinois. It grows in open woods, lake edges, old fields and prairies. Flowers are produced from August through October. It is a good plant for pollinators.

Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.

Illinois Range

Native Plant Information

For more information about Illinois native plants, visit our Native Habitat Descriptions, Requirements, and Plant Lists page. The following publications are available from the IDNR on our publications page.


Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae

Illinois Status: common, native