Then, as I was walking through a meadow area some ideas literally hit me. There at my knees was a clump of Sweet Everlasting (Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium) and around the bend was some tall snakeroot (Ageratina altissima). Both of these plants stood out because of the large clusters of small white flowers.
|The woolly hairs on Sweet Everlasting can catch |
the light and brighten up the whole plant.
Ripe seeds have a fuzzy appendage that will catch the wind, helping with seed dispersal. I have had some difficulty starting these from seed indoors. They seem to do much better growing outdoors. The tiny seeds need light to germinate so they should be sown on the soil surface and pressed in, not buried.
|The leaves of Tall Snakeroot are held on long petioles, 1/2 to 2" and are disposed on |
opposite sides of the stem. The length of the petiole and the relatively
broad leaves distinguish it from related bonesets and other snakeroots.
I first noticed Tall Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima, formerly Eupatorium rugosum) growing in a shady area as I was clearing stiltgrass last year. This year I am seeing it in multiple locations. I don't know if it is spreading, or I am just getting better at finding it. Similar to sweet everlasting, these flowers have only disk florets. The bright white flowers are clustered together in broad heads, making them easy to spot at a distance. While not a favorite plant for deer, I have noticed some nibbling of the leaves and flowers.
Normally growing 3' tall or more this may be a little tall for the front of a border, but some of mine have flopped over and they look fine at 8-12". There is a selection named 'Chocolate', identified and developed at the Mt. Cuba Center. It has burgundy toned foliage.
|The 'deer-pruned' turtleheads are bushy and just the right height for the front of a border.|