Also called American feverfew, wild quinine is a herbaceous perennial and a member of the Aster family, Asteraceae, that also includes sunflower, daisy, and lettuce.  It is native to  eastern North America from Quebec to Ontario, south to Florida and  Texas  where it grows in prairies, fields, open wooded areas, rocky woods, and hillsides.  Plants grow 2-4′ tall and have stiff hairy stems and coarsely-toothed  aromatic leaves covered with short bristly hairs.  From late spring to mid summer woolly-looking  flat topped terminal corymbs of tiny white ray flowers appear.Wild quinine  is often used instead of yarrow in moist growing conditions. The genus name Parthenium, comes from the Greek word partenos meaning maiden or virgin and refers to the fact that only ray flowers are fertile.  The specific epithet, integrifolium comes from the Latin words integer meaning whole, undivided and folium meaning leaf and refers incorrectly to the margins of the leaf that are actually coarsely toothed.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Flat clusters of hard white flowers are borne in summer

Foliage: Leaves are ovate to lanceolate and are coarse and hairy; basal leaves are larger than stem leaves

Size: 1-3’ H x 1-3’ W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Thrives in deep, rich, moist soil but tolerates less; drought tolerant

Hardiness: Zones 4-8

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seeds sown in winter or spring after 4-6 weeks of cold moist stratification

Companion plants: Royal Catchfly (Silene regia), leadplant (Amorpha canescens), yellow coneflower (Ratibida pinnata).

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By Karen