SOLVED: Tall, elegant weed and fragrant too! ID please?

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

This weed stands 8 to 10 feet tall before the blooms start arching downward.

Thumbnail by podster
Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I never paid it much attention till I noticed something that smelled delicately wonderful. In bloom right now...

Thumbnail by podster
Coon Rapids, MN(Zone 4a)

Does it have the smell like Artemisia - Wormwood?

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I'm sorry ~ that is a fragrance I am not familiar with. Does it look like a member of that family?

This message was edited Oct 5, 2009 7:21 PM

Coon Rapids, MN(Zone 4a)

I just am thinking that it could be an Artemisia but I have no experience with Texas plants.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I will have to check into that suggestion ~ thanks for the direction.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i've seen that plant here but not up close. can't wait for an id!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Have you caught the fragrance of it? It drifted on the breeze when I was walking and it took a bit to isolate which plant. Very interesting plant.

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Maybe a species of Asparagus?

Can you see how many petals each flower has? The pic isn't sharp enough to see. Also a pic of any leaves on the main stems would be useful.

Resin

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I need to go look closer. I don't believe it has any foliage on the lower part of this plant. The blooms are so delicate I will certainly try for a better photo or two. Limited by a vintage camera in vintage hands... lol

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Possibly Dog Fennel, Eupatorium capillifolium

http://apalacheehills.com/Weeds/dogFennel.html

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i know that it's not the "dog fennel" that is so very common here, but i think there is more than one Fennel with that common name.

i have not smelled it. i see it in the distance when we're driving, never up close.

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Quoting:
Possibly Dog Fennel

Not an umbellifer - wrong flowerhead structure.

Resin

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

It could be Poverty Weed, Baccharis neglecta or one of its relatives.
http://wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=BANE2

Coon Rapids, MN(Zone 4a)

I tried five to six websites and they didn't metion fragrance at all for Baccharis neglecta - does they have fragrance?

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I can find no reference on Baccharis fragrance either. OTOH, looking at the different Baccharis... I would take a stab that is close to an ID.
The only thing I'd question, the Baccharis descriptions indicate a tree... this appears to be a clump of weeds. This patch was on the edge of the woods by the pond. There is more growing on the edge of the driveway and the photo below is an immature plant on the dam side of the pond.

The fog and humidty was too heavy this a.m. so my photos didn't turn out. Will try again in the morning.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Immature plant...

Thumbnail by podster
Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

Your last picture looks like Dog Fennel. Maybe that is what it is.
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/54505/

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

I thought it looked like Eupatorium capillifolium, perhaps there is another plant in the same genus?

Thumbnail by themoonhowl
Coon Rapids, MN(Zone 4a)

Look like Eupatorium capillifolium to me - they also like wetlands - hard to believe they're in the same genus as joe pye weed!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

If everyone agrees it is the Eupatorium capillifolium aka dog fennel, I will mark this thread closed.

I have been searching for information on the fragrance of these blooms and find no reference to dog fennel.

I hope someone will weigh in on the sniff test too.

Thanks all!

Letohatchee, AL

I have this ....oh my God.. EVERYPLACE....but yes it smells like spicy, sweet citrus with a hit of cinnamon....taller then me..

no Idea on the name....I'll look into Alabama weeds.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Bless you for noticig the fragrance. It is delightful, not overpowering at all. Excellent description!

Now I wonder what this plant might be good for...

Letohatchee, AL

White mistflower ...Eupatorium wrightii

Letohatchee, AL

this is the site I found it on.....www.penick.net

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

That is pretty and it mentions fragrant too but that is not the same as this one. These blooms are not as defined. I have the blue mistflower growing wild by this same pond and it is in bloom right now.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Here is does say the foliage is fragrant... http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/54505/

north, FL(Zone 8a)

There is lots of it around where I live too, zone 8 north FL. It is especially beautiful in places it doesn't get cut down every year, especially if it's near water. It gets so tall and graceful. You are right, a beautiful and elegant plant. I have often wondered why folks cut this down or pull it out and then go to to the store and buy some other plant, for the place where they had something beautiful in the first place.

Yes, very scented when it's blossoms are open like right now. I could smell it several feet away on the breeze this afternoon. A nice scent, sweet natural pleasant. Kind of reminded me of the scent of sunflowers but not so intense. I think I read somewhere a long time ago that it is/was used as an ornamental in Japan.

Here's a link I found that shows a nice close up of the flowers-

http://www.alabamaplants.com/Whitealt/Eupatorium_capillifolium_page.html

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Thank you for confirming this delightful fragrance. I truly appreciate this "weed" for its' beauty. I agree on removing a plant this carefree to replace it with another plant would be, in my mind, foolish. For most of the season it is rather nondescript but the blooms and the gracefulness make up for it. The fragrance is icing on the cake.

That was a good link you provided with an excellent selection of photos. Far better than I would be capable of taking.

As a sidenote, I found this is on the toxicity and growth habit of this plant.

Quoting:
Dogfennel spreads by both seeds and rootstocks and can grow quite aggressively. It is common in pastures, especially those which are unimproved or overgrazed, and degrades the quality of the pasture by competing with desired forage species. Dogfennel contains liver-damaging pyrrolizidine alkaloids, so livestock are known to eat all the turf around a stand of it. To remove infestations of dogfennel, the recommended course of action is to mow it and apply herbicides.


thanks much, pod

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Podster, I can't remember the name of the Butterfly larva that feeds on dog fennel, The black swallowtail I think. I have a couple stands of it in the yard...that is a picture above of one of them. It provides food, a rich earthy-sweet fragrance, is attractive and easy to control. Works for me....grin Moon

Canton,IL &Dent Coun, MO(Zone 5b)

and it looks way better than the weeds in my back yard!

Coon Rapids, MN(Zone 4a)

Tiger Moth Estigmene acrea larvae frequently feed on Dog Fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium)

Cosmosoma myrodora - Scarlet-Bodied Wasp Moth
Adult males extract toxic chemicals from Dogfennel Eupatorium (Eupatorium capillifolium)

Black Swallowtail
I could only find one online reference to this - possible confusion with Fennel Foeniculum vulgare which is different family - Umbelliferae
compare to Eupatorium capilifolium which is Asteraceae. It's a pain having to look up online for the right family name!

Resin probably only looked at the common name Dog Fennel, not the Latin Name so he's forgiven.

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

The black swallowtails in my yard feed on it, but probably because I do not provide the F vulgare for their dining pleasure.
But I also have tons of milkweed (asclepsis) so they probably don't care.....grin

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Almost perfect... for those with this issue, it is even deer resistant!

If one can get past the immature stage this is a beautiful graceful plant. Perhaps if one chose to cultivate it, the young plant might be pretty when blended with a taller coneflower or daisy bloomer. Any other suggestions?

Coon Rapids, MN(Zone 4a)

I forgot to says butterflies are attracted to its flowers. Maybe asters would works with it! Especially the tall purple flowers kinds.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I haven't noticed butterflies around these plants but then I'm not home during the daytime much. I have noticed them around the lantana so I know there are plenty here.

Tall purple asters might be quite lovely with the brilliant green foliage. Do they bloom early in the summer? Odd how the foliage color fades when this plant starts blooming.

Canton,IL &Dent Coun, MO(Zone 5b)

my asters bloom well now, hhhmmm, how tall is it at the 'ugly immature' stage?

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Well, right now some is at that stage 2-4 feet tall but the rest is 8 feet tall or more and in bloom. I'll be honest, I haven't really noticed this plant before now so am not sure but believe the time I would want flowers blooming would be May ~ June ~ July. I shall have to pay closer attention next summer.

Canton,IL &Dent Coun, MO(Zone 5b)

well my marigolds get to be about 2 to 3 feet tall and they bloom during that time. some of my roses don't get much bigger than that, poppies maybe..lets see suggugestions would be cause I am assuming you don't want to keep replanting every year
Canterburry bells
Bleeding Hearts
Phlox
Verbascum
Miniature shrub rose
Reseeding or Perennial Poppies
coneflower
suprise lilies
Annuals would be
Marigolds (if you choose this option don't buy seeds I have tons of them)
Petunas
Bidens mexican sun gold
dwarf sunflowers
does any of this help?

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

You bet! All great suggestions. I will have to do some research and see what will like the same conditions. Thanks... pod

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