White Snakeroot

Ageratina altissima

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ageratina (ad-jur-uh-TY-nuh) (Info)
Species: altissima (al-TISS-ih-muh) (Info)
Synonym:Eupatorium rugosum
Synonym:Ageratum altissimum
Synonym:Eupatorium ageratoides



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Union Grove, Alabama

Marion, Arkansas

Anna, Illinois

Danvers, Illinois

Hinsdale, Illinois

La Grange Park, Illinois

Murphysboro, Illinois

Coatesville, Indiana

Macy, Indiana

Valparaiso, Indiana

Iowa City, Iowa

Barbourville, Kentucky

Benton, Kentucky

Melbourne, Kentucky

Brookeville, Maryland

Amesbury, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Charlevoix, Michigan

Eveleth, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Whitehouse Station, New Jersey

Croton On Hudson, New York

Fairport, New York

West Jefferson, North Carolina

Corning, Ohio

Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Millersburg, Pennsylvania

Morrisville, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Columbia, Tennessee

Mont Belvieu, Texas

Leesburg, Virginia

Madison, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 25, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

In my part of the country, this plant becomes an aggressive weed through self-sowing. Seedlings don't pull up easily. Seeds travel on the wind and start colonies on neighboring properties, which will seed onto your property long after you've decided to eradicate it.


On Dec 4, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

A very common meadow and woodland edge wild plant that blooms in late August into October in se PA. Wonderful plant for pollinators, as butterflies. Strong, powerful, hardy plant that does self sow a lot.


On Jul 7, 2013, plant_it from Valparaiso, IN wrote:

Native to North America (S. Ontario to New Brunswick; south through New England to Virginia and upland Georgia; west to Louisiana and ne. Texas; north to Wisconsin).

Gets fragrant white flowers from late summer to fall and is one of the last wildflowers to bloom in the fall.

"The nectar of the flowers attracts a variety of insects, including large Leaf-Cutting bees, Halictid bees, wasps, various flies (Syrphid, Tachinid, Bee flies, & others), butterflies, and moths. The bees also collect pollen. The caterpillars of some moths are known to feed on Eupatorium spp. (Bonesets), including White Snakeroot (probably). These species include Carmenta bassiformis (Eupatorium Borer Moth), Papaipema cataphracta (Burdock Borer Moth), Phragmatobia fuliginosa (Ruby Tiger Mot... read more


On Sep 17, 2011, GardenQuilts from Pocono Mountains, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

This wildflower has been especially beautiful this fall. It is thriving in filtered sunlight under trees on a southwestern facing slope. It must have liked the cold wet spring, hot humid summer, late summer rains and floods this year.

I wouldn't trust it in my cottage garden, but it is beautiful in a natural or naturalized setting.


On Sep 3, 2008, creekwalker from Benton County, MO (Zone 5a) wrote:

Called Tall Boneset by the field guide Ozark Wildflowers.


On Sep 8, 2005, wetdogfarm from Eveleth, MN (Zone 3a) wrote:

I think you can safely say that this plant is hardy to zone 3a...it even made it through a -60F winter. I started it from seed collected in Michigan and it has survived in my N MN garden (in beds and in wild areas) for 11 years. The only trouble is that it self seeds enthusiastically so to keep the population down I have to deadhead before seed sets. Nice tall plant for full shade, September, tolerates damp.


On Jan 17, 2005, JodyC from Palmyra, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Tall Boneset often competes directly with Solidago canadensis (Canada Goldenrod) in disturbed areas, although it prefers slightly drier areas. The two plants appear similar to each other prior to bloom, although the former has darker leaves. This plant provides some white color to a fall landscape that is often dominated by forbs with yellow flowers and the brown color of dried-out grasses. This is the easiest boneset to grow in dry sunny areas. Some people may mistake this plant for a weed, which it is to some extent.


On Sep 17, 2004, nicklebag from Hammond, IN wrote:

This plant is a wildflower that lives in the woods by our house. It blooms in September and is very hardy here. Looks great with the goldenrods and rudebeckias that are blooming now. Great butterfly plant!


On Sep 3, 2004, growinroots from Morrisville, PA wrote:

I have this growing in both my full sun and my semi-shade garden beds here in Zone 6, PA. It does well in both and I haven't had any scorching of leaves at all. Seems to like both areas equally well. A very easy plant to care for, seems to grow in any conditions and deals well with drought. The butterflies love it and it blooms beautifully into October when everything else is dying out.


On Oct 5, 2003, gonedutch from Fairport, NY wrote:

This is a favorite plant in my fall garden when little else of color is going on. It blooms well into October and produces a mass of flowers reminiscent of cumulus clouds. The flowers make a good complement to a fall bouquet of asters and goldenrod. It is a generous self-seeder in the shade of our tree canopy.


On Oct 3, 2001, Baa wrote:

Clump forming perennial from Eastern North America.

Has lance shaped to ovate, toothed, mid green to greyish leaves. Stems are erect dark purple or brown in colour. Bears pure white, fluffy looking flowers.

Flowers August - October

Likes an alkaline, moist, well drained soil in partial shade, hot sun will scorch the leaves quite badly and frosts may kill off young shoots and leaves so a sheltered position is wise.

Has been used in the past for treating fever, liver problems and as a cure for the common cold.