Sep. 4, 2019

tall boneset, Eupatorium altissimum

When I went out to Ives Preserve to check for invasives in the ponds the other day, a lot of tall boneset was just starting to bloom. It's an attractive plant that only gets better the closer you get. Each of these flower heads is maybe a half inch long. Each individual little flower has five lobes, with a single ovary. The white filaments here are attached to the ovary, and ultimately become fuzz that will float the seeds into the wind. The dark part is the staminal tube - the source of the pollen. Those tubes surround the base of the long white projecting lobes of the pistil. Little marvels of successful flower architecture. Tall boneset is a plant of fields and prairies in AL, AR, CT, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV, and ON. The northern part of the range may not be native. Tall boneset wasn't reported in Michigan until 1965, when it was found in the southwest corner of the state. Ives Fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 9/2/19.