FloraFinder.org
Home   About Us   Want to Help?   FAQ  
Searching   Image Use Biblio

Ageratina altissima

Ageratina altissima (L.) King & H. Rob.

 

White Snakeroot, Tall Boneset, White Sanicle

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderAsteralesFlowering plants with a central disk flower and surrounding petals, like daisies
FamilyAsteraceaeThe aster family, which also includes daisies and sunflowers; from the Greek ἀστήρ, “star,” for the star-shaped flowers
GenusAgeratinaSnakeroots
Speciesaltissima“Very tall, tallest”

About plant names...

White snakeroot is native to eastern North America.

Identification: Plants are up to 5' (1.5 m) high, growing as a single plant or a clump with multiple stems. Stems are light green, sometimes tan, round, with few or no hairs. Near the base of the plant, leaves are are heart-shaped to oval (cordate to cordate-ovate). Leaves further up the stem are narrower and more lance-shaped (lanceolate). The leaves are 2½-6" (6.3-15 cm) × 1-3" (2.5-7.6 cm), with sharp, coarse serrations. Leaf undersides have prominent veins. Leaf stems are longer than most, from ½-2½" (1.3-6.3 cm) long. White snakeroot blooms in rounded corymbs, each containing 10 to 25 white flowers about ⅛" (5 mm) around. Each flower is a composite flower, composed of a central disc and surrounding petals. Since each petal is technically a flower in its own right, you could say that white snakeroot contains flowers within flowers within flowers. Or petals and disc flowers within flowerets within inflorescences. Or just white fuzzy-looking flowers. Fruits are tiny black bristled 5-angled achenes equipped with tiny parachutes.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones Plants contain tremetol and glycosides, which together cause staggers, a potentially fatal disease in cows. These plants are also toxic to people, and milk from cows exposed to white snakeroot can also cause illness called “milk sickness” in people. In the 1800s, when drought sometimes forced cows to forage in forests for food, this caused extensive deaths.

Online References:

Ageratina altissima at Illinois Wildflowers

Ageratina altissima at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine (describes this and similar species)

Ageratina altissima on Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses

Ageratina altissima on Southeastern Flora, the Southeastern U.S. Plant Identification Resource

Ageratina altissima at Minnesota Wildflowers

Ageratina altissima at the Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site

Ageratina altissima on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Ageratina altissima on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Ageratina altissima on www.pinecreekvalley.com

Ageratina altissima on Discover Life

Ageratina altissima (White Snakeroot, Tall Boneset, White Sanicle)

8/6/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 15 × 22" (37 × 56 cm) ID is uncertain

Ageratina altissima (White Snakeroot, Tall Boneset, White Sanicle)

8/15/2013 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 15 cm)

Ageratina altissima (White Snakeroot, Tall Boneset, White Sanicle)

8/6/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 15 × 22" (37 × 56 cm) ID is uncertain

Ageratina altissima (White Snakeroot, Tall Boneset, White Sanicle)

9/7/2013 · Beech Hill, Dublin, NH
≈ 10 × 7" (25 × 16 cm) ID is uncertain

Ageratina altissima description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 23 Sep 2013.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Ageratina altissima (White Snakeroot, Tall Boneset, White Sanicle)

9/7/2013 · Beech Hill, Dublin, NH
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 12 cm) ID is uncertain

Ageratina altissima (White Snakeroot, Tall Boneset, White Sanicle)

8/15/2013 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 6" (19 × 14 cm)

Ageratina altissima (White Snakeroot, Tall Boneset, White Sanicle)

8/6/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.5 cm) ID is uncertain

Ageratina altissima (White Snakeroot, Tall Boneset, White Sanicle)

8/6/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 10 × 13" (24 × 33 cm) ID is uncertain

Ageratina altissima (White Snakeroot, Tall Boneset, White Sanicle)

9/7/2013 · Beech Hill, Dublin, NH
≈ 6 × 8" (14 × 20 cm) ID is uncertain

Ageratina altissima (White Snakeroot, Tall Boneset, White Sanicle)

8/15/2013 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (28 × 18 cm)

Ageratina altissima (White Snakeroot, Tall Boneset, White Sanicle)

8/15/2013 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 16 cm)

Ageratina altissima (White Snakeroot, Tall Boneset, White Sanicle)

8/6/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 12" (21 × 31 cm) ID is uncertain

Range: Zones 4-8:

About this map...