American Feverfew (Wild Quinine)

American Feverfew (Wild Quinine) Flowers

1 of 2

American Feverfew (Wild Quinine)

2 of 2
Parthenium integrifolium
Asteraceae (daisies)

A perennial with stems single, usually unbranched below the flower cluster. Sometimes grows in colonies. Flowerheads in flat-topped or slightly rounded, fuzzy white clusters about ¼ inch wide. Ray florets few, tiny, inconspicuous. Blooms May–September. Basal and lower stem leaves are aromatic, to 8 inches long and 4 inches wide, tapering into long petioles (leaf stems), elliptical to broadly ovate, roughened with short, stiff hairs, with a coarsely toothed or scalloped margin. Leaves and stems with tiny spherical yellow glands.

Height: to 3 feet.
Habitat and conservation: 
Occurs in prairies, glades, rocky open woods, forest openings, savannas, pastures, and roadsides. This native plant is a characteristic species of high-quality upland prairie plant communities.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Scattered nearly statewide, but uncommon or absent from the northwestern quarter.
Human connections: 
The names feverfew and wild quinine indicate that the plant was used medicinally. Some Native American tribes made a poultice of the leaves to use for treating burns. Apparently the plant was also used as a diuretic. Today people plant it as part of a prairie restoration or native wildflower garden.
Ecosystem connections: 
Insects visit the flowers for pollen and nectar. This plant is rarely eaten by mammals because of its coarse texture and bitter-tasting chemicals in the leaves.
Shortened URL