Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’

Picture 245Eupatorium rugosum, also known as Ageratina altissima, is an herbacious perennial native to most of the eastern U.S. A selection of the species made by the Mt Cuba Center, ‘Chocolate’ grows to about 3′ and has purple leaves and dark stems. For us, it blooms from late September into October, with corymbs of very white flowers up to 5″ across, a very welcome sight this time of year. It will grow in sun to part shade in average to moist soils. Plants grown in the shade are more tolerant of dry conditions. It can be slow to get up and growing in the spring, but will soon reach its stride and fill out. If grown under ideal conditions it has been known to seed out. Its common name, ‘snakeroot’, refers to how it was used by Native Americans as a poultice for snakebite. It was also used as a treatment for painful urination, diarrhea, and kidney stones. But caution should be used as all fresh parts of the plant are poisonous and even fatal if ingested due to the chemical Tremetone. This is such an easy care plant with great foliage through the season, and we so look forward to its blooms in October.

2 comments on “Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’

  1. I have allowed this plant to colonize along a sloping hill, highlighting a dark expanse under an unruly hedgerow of trees and shrubs, and along a path meandering through a meadow. I too look forward to it’s arrival in fall.

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