Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Dog Fennel
Eupatorium capillifolium

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Eupatorium (yoo-puh-TOR-ee-um) (Info)
Species: capillifolium (kap-ill-ih-FOH-lee-um) (Info)

8 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
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)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By Floridian
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By Farmerdill
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There are a total of 15 photos.
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6 positives
3 neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive MareksGarden On Feb 22, 2014, MareksGarden from Simpsonville, SC wrote:

These plants grow wild in local fields and I like them enough to propagate them on my property. It takes a few years to mature to 7' tall bushes with feathery dill-like foliage. I've seen Bumble Bees living inside the bushes. In the fall, they turn silvery in flower and they become pleasantly fragrant. It's very easy to transplant the volunteering seedling to where you want them to grow as well. I've never been worried about invasiveness as it is easy to pull them up if unwanted.

Positive fre2bme64 On Sep 8, 2013, fre2bme64 from Mims, FL wrote:

I had 1 plant grow in a pot with my corn plant, so I separated it and put it in a pot by itself and starting trying to find what it is because it grows fast and has and awesome leaf pattern. I saw a post that said it discourages insects and that the plant can be used on reptile and insect bites. I'm going to plant it around my fence as a natural border!

Neutral snorkelpop On Jun 14, 2012, snorkelpop from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

I don't understand a few things about the specifications you show, but let me just ask you about one set. How am I supposed to interpret your height chart? Is this just another way of saying that the height of this plant varies from 4' to 10'? That really doesn't narrow it down very much does it? The same applies to your hardiness figures. This is really incomprehensible to me.

Positive astarnit On Nov 18, 2011, astarnit from Waldorf, MD wrote:

very graceful native virginia plant, nice tall background plant, in my 15 acres of fields which i am very familiar with i've only found 4 plants growing, so here in good topsoil fields it's not being invasive.

Positive edys1222 On Apr 22, 2010, edys1222 from Shawnee Mission, KS wrote:

I love this plant! In Kansas City it is not at all invasive. I do wish it had more staying seems to want to grow only 2 years here before it dies back completely. The 1st year in my garden it reached 7' tall and looked absolutely beautiful.

Positive Turtlegaby On Jul 12, 2009, Turtlegaby from Decatur, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love this plant. Years ago it showed up in my yard voluntarily and ever since it grew and grew and more seedlings every year everywhere. DG ID forum helped me to identify it. It makes quite a statement, because it grows very fast and tall (up to 7 feet) and looks gracious with it's fine soft leaves. I collect all the seedlings that pop up each year and plant them in containers. I also like the smell of the roots. If you don't want the seedlings, they are easily to pull out, but as a background plant in a nice flower bed, I would give it a chance.

Negative jomoncon On Mar 27, 2009, jomoncon from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant started showing up this year in my garden as a weed. I've been pulling it up when it's still small, but some have grown to about a foot & are more difficult to pull. They seem to love being in my landscape roses. Or maybe I don't get them when they're small in that bed since the roses have so many thorns.

Negative gooley On Jul 17, 2006, gooley from Hawthorne, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

It's not that hard to control... IF you mow land regularly. If not, it grows fast and gives you woody stems with feathery leaves and branches, and sort of a sticky feel to them...leave a stink on you (not acutely unpleasant, though I don't think I'd use it for incense) when you brush against them, more especially if you try to yank them up. You can get 6 foot stems in a few months in my climate if you don't mow. Roundup and such kill it nicely -- if you spray thoroughly; otherwise, especially in an established clump, enough root mass may survive to send up new stems. Digging up the whole clump in winter also works, but again it's easy to miss a bit. Mow, mow, mow and the grass might even choke it out for you; leave it alone and you soon get a patch of ground that's hard to walk through. Colonizes any bare spot, neglected pot with a plant in it, garden bed, you name it.

Neutral Windy On May 12, 2006, Windy from Belleville , IL (Zone 6b) wrote:

I find that this plant which grew of its own accord is sort of pretty to look at.
In my zone7a it does not appear to be invasive, but the plants that are here have strong persistant roots that will thrive even if tilled.
I like the impressive size and am glad to finally have identified it through the identification forum on Davesgarden.

Positive trackinsand On Sep 7, 2005, trackinsand from mid central, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

i understand that it is a noxious weed and invasive, however, i let a big stand of it grow in the fork of my driveway just to see what it would do. it's now september and it's 7' tall and quite dramatic. it has a breezy, lacy look and when it's done doing it's thing, we can mow it down. we certainly have not watered or fed or done anything to it and never will! debi

Neutral Farmerdill On Oct 8, 2004, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

An interesting plant. Seems to invade borders between wooded areas and open fields. Here it is easily controlled by cultivation or mowing. A stand of it is quite showy at first frost, makes it look like a dusting of snow,

Negative onalee On Jul 29, 2004, onalee from Brooksville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! Dog Fennel with take over your yard, your pasture, your neighbor's yard and the field down the street! Extremely hard to get rid of and spreads rapidly - and nothing seems to eat it.


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

Decatur, Alabama
Enterprise, Alabama
Luverne, Alabama
Midland City, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Ashdown, Arkansas
Apopka, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Brooksville, Florida (2 reports)
Hampton, Florida
Hawthorne, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Sanford, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Augusta, Georgia
Carrollton, Georgia
New Orleans, Louisiana
Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Marietta, Mississippi
Lincoln, Nebraska
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Campobello, South Carolina
Cope, South Carolina
Greer, South Carolina
Simpsonville, South Carolina
Dandridge, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Walling, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Boerne, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Teague, Texas
King George, Virginia
Temperanceville, Virginia
Meadowbrook, West Virginia
Parkersburg, West Virginia

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