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Old 08-08-2009, 08:16 PM   #1
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Default Is this Ageratina altissima (Eupatorium rugosum) white snakeroot?

A year or two one of these showed up in my yard, and I identified it as Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot). Since then it's been spreading all over my yard, and when I mentioned to somebody when we saw one on an easy hike that I had these plants show up in my yard, she said it was some invasive species, but she couldn't think of the name.

Is there anything invasive that looks like it? I had trouble taking pictures of it, and even the pictures my husband took for me didn't come out great. The pictures are of two different plants, but they're the same type from what I can tell. How likely is it these are what I think they are?

The picture of the flowers shows them a bit out of focus, but it's the flowers do look to me the way they're supposed to for Ageratina altissima.

Thanks. -- Lori
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Old 08-08-2009, 11:48 PM   #2
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You were right the first time. It is Eupatorium rugosum. And it will colonize wherever it sets seed.
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:45 AM   #3
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Thank you Porterbrook.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:46 AM   #4
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IT's not invasive, but it is aggressive.
I have it in my woodland too.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:47 PM   #5
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Thanks joepyeweed. Aggressive is right. It made the hop from my side of the driveway to my neighbor's property, so I'm glad it's nothing worse. I'll keep it in some of the harder spots in my garden, and get rid of the rest.
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Old 08-13-2009, 05:00 PM   #6
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I'm going to respectfully disagree here. I may be wrong, but the plant in your photos don't look quite right to me for White Snakeroot, Eupatorium rugosa. And White Snakeroot isn't very weedy or aggressive, grows in savannas and open woods around here, and the plants in your photos don't look like the Eupatorium rugosa I've seen here. The leaves in your photos aren't wide enough and the flowers aren't showy enough. Too tall too. Check out this photo I found on another site. White Snakeroot is a good-looking plant, doesn't look weedy like yours.

There are taller, aggressive, weedy, white-flowered Eupatoriums though, check E. altissimum and E. serotinum. Might be other weedy ones where you live. Yours does look a lot like E. serotinum.

Can't be sure though. If Eupatorium rugosa grows in a really dark, shady spot, they could conceivably grow lanky and not flower as profusely as they do in spots where they're happier.

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Old 08-14-2009, 10:31 AM   #7
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I'll have to take some pictures of white snakeroot in my yard for comparison. Growing conditions will significantly alter a plants appearance...

white snakeroot is one of those first succession species... it can be weedy when it has no competition.... when we do selective thinning of the canopy to restore the understory ... white snakeroot root is one of the first plants to re-appear and it fills in aggressively. Many of the other savannah plants take time to re-establish themselves... eventually they will all balance out. But the snakeroot gets an early advantage.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joepyeweed View Post
I'll have to take some pictures of white snakeroot in my yard for comparison. Growing conditions will significantly alter a plants appearance...

white snakeroot is one of those first succession species... it can be weedy when it has no competition.... when we do selective thinning of the canopy to restore the understory ... white snakeroot root is one of the first plants to re-appear and it fills in aggressively. Many of the other savannah plants take time to re-establish themselves... eventually they will all balance out. But the snakeroot gets an early advantage.
Interesting info there. I suspect you're right. While I've seen White Snakeroot many times, I've never really looked at it real closely, nor have I photographed it in many years, and I lost many of my old nature shots (35mm slides) in a flooded basement years ago, so the shot or two that I had of it are gone.

I was going on old memories and other photos of it found on-line, which can be risky, especially the memory part.

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Old 08-14-2009, 10:56 AM   #9
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I like to see the snakeroot come up, because it is an indication that the seedbank is in tact. If you open the canopy and the only thing that grows is garlic mustard and buckthorn, then its likely the native seedbank is gone; (eroded or excavated or filled etc).
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