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Eupatorium capillifolium

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
yoo-puh-TOR-ee-um kap-ill-ih-FOH-lee-um
Description

Eupatorium capillifolium, or Dogfennel, is a herbaceous perennial weed in the Asteraceae (daisy) family with finely-dissected leaves that are very aromatic when crushed (an aroma that is unpleasant to some). The plant spreads in the landscape by wind blown seeds and spreading rootstocks, sometimes to the point of becoming invasive, so it is important to prevent plants from flowering. Seedlings emerge from spring through early autumn. Plants are difficult to remove and if not removed completely with hand weeding, plants will re-sprout from broken stems. Dogfennel is managed from seed by many broad-spectrum preemergence herbicides; however, herbicide efficacy rankings for this species are based on limited experimental data. 

Dogfennel is easily grown in moist but well-drained soils in full sun to part shade, although it does best with some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. It tolerates most soil types including dry, sandy soils. Plants have good drought tolerance. North of USDA Zone 6, this plant is best given a thick winter mulch and planted in locations affording some protection from harsh winter conditions.

The foliage sways gracefully in the wind in an ornamentally attractive manner. Dogfennel is native to fields, clearings, woodland margins and roadsides from Florida to the coast to Massachusetts. 

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

No serious insect or disease problems. However, you should watch for powdery mildew, aphids, slugs and leaf miner.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#perennial#weed#weedy#fragrant leaves#wind tolerant#native weed#perennial weed
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#perennial#weed#weedy#fragrant leaves#wind tolerant#native weed#perennial weed
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Eupatorium
    Species:
    capillifolium
    Family:
    Asteraceae (daisy)
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The entire plant is applied externally as a remedy for the bites of reptiles and insects.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Canada and U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    throughout
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 3a, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are smooth achenes.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Insignificant
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Dome
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are small, greenish-white and borne in large flower heads at the tops of the stems. Blooms from September through November. The small, 3-5 flowered heads are numerous and arranged in large, leafy, pyramid-shaped end clusters (corymbs).
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    Each plant produces several tall, stiff, woody-based, often reddish, upright stems clad with crowded, feathery, finely-dissected leaves which are pinnately divided into thread-like segments. Leaves are unpleasantly aromatic when crushed.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    Yes
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Stems are erect, reaching 6 feet in height with a woody base.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy