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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
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).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 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: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Eupatorium ageratoides. E. rugosum. E. urticaefolium,

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses

None known

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.

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].

Other Uses

None known

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].

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

 

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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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Subject : Ageratina altissima  
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