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Ageratina altissima - (L.)R.M.King.&H.Rob.

Common Name White Snakeroot, Richweed
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards The plant contains tremetol, a complex alcohol, and glycosides. These toxins cause a fatal disease known as 'staggers' in cattle. The toxin can be passed through the milk and has caused fatalities in humans who have drunk affected cow's milk[274].
Habitats Low woods in river valleys in Texas[274].
Range Eastern N. America.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Ageratina altissima White Snakeroot, Richweed


Ageratina altissima White Snakeroot, Richweed
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Ageratina altissima is a PERENNIAL growing to 2 m (6ft 7in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 6. It is in flower from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Eupatorium ageratoides. E. rugosum. E. urticaefolium,

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Diaphoretic  Diuretic  Febrifuge  Odontalgic  Stimulant  Tonic  Urinary

The root is diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, stimulant and tonic[257]. It has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea, gravel and urinary diseases[257]. It has also been used in herbal sweat baths to encourage sweating[257]. A decoction or infusion of the root has been taken to treat a fallen or inflamed womb[257]. The root has been chewed and held in the mouth as a treatment for toothache[257].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

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FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Succeeds in an ordinary well-drained but moisture retentive garden soil in sun or part shade[200]. There is some difference of opinion over the correct name for this species with some authorities using Eupatorium rugosum[K].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame, only just covering the seed. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Ageratina aromatica Perennial1.5 4-8  LMHSNM11 
Ageratina herbaceaFragrant SnakerootPerennial2.0 5-9  LMHSNM01 
Ageratina ligustrina Shrub5.0 9-11  LMHNM00 
Ageratina occidentalisWestern SnakerootPerennial0.7 5-9  LMHSNM01 
Ageratina rugosum  0.0 -  LMHSNM00 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

(L.)R.M.King.&H.Rob.

Botanical References

200274

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

billy leung   Wed Jan 12 21:41:23 2005

i believe the information on this species, Eupatorium rugosum or Ageratina altissima, is mistaken in that it is a poisonous species. According to some literature, Abraham Lincoln's mother died of poisoned milk from affected animals. I think it is well documented in lots of places.

Bryan French   Fri Jul 13 2007

The habitat is more exensive than "Low woods in river valleys in Texas." Ageratina altissima's native habitat are the wooded lowlands of the Appalachian Mountains from southern Quebec to northern Georgia.

eibren   Fri Jun 5 2009

It seeded itself along the edge of a new planting in my garden in South Central Pennsylvania, USA; apparently the birds like the seeds.

Veterinary Medicine Library More information on effects of toxicity

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