Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Ageratina herbacea, Fragrant Snakeroot

Fragrant Snakeroot flowers are white, small and attractive. Fragrant Snakeroot flowers consist of disk flowers only. This species blooms from June to October. Ageratina herbaceaFragrant Snakeroot flowers have no “ray” flowers and the “disk” flowers are pretty with exserted stamens with thin white wavy filaments as shown in the photo. Ageratina herbacea    Fragrant Snakeroot leaves are yellow-green or grayish, opposite and noticeably veined. Leaves may be smooth or hairy, heart-shaped and with small soft hairs. The margins are variable. Ageratina herbacea Fragrant Snakeroot, also called Apache Snakeroot is a native perennial that grows up to 2 feet. The fruits are small “achenes” with bristly pappus as shown here. Ageratina herbacea   Fragrant Snakeroot grows in elevations between 5,000 and 9,000 feet and prefers multiple habitat types; openings in pine forest communities, rocky slopes, meadows, ridges, washes and along streams. Ageratina herbacea

Scientific Name: Ageratina herbacea
Common Name: Fragrant Snakeroot
Also called: Apache Snakeroot, Herbaceous Joepieweed
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Ageratina betulaefolia, Eupatorium arizonicum, Eupatorium herbaceum, Eupatorium occidentale var. arizonicum, Kyrstenia betulifolia)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 2 feet.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; subshrub, woody base; stems green erect or spreading, stems fuzzy with minute soft hairs.
Leaves: Yellow-green or grayish, opposite; noticeably veined, smooth or hairy; cordate; small soft hairs; margins; variable.
Flower Color: White, showy; without ray flowers, numerous discoid flowers are tubular with exserted stamens with thin white wavy filaments above each flower; flower heads also numerous in dense clusters on tips of stems; fruit is an achene with a bristly pappus.
Flowering Season: June to October.
Elevation: 5,000 to 9,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Multiple habitat types, openings in pine forest communities, rocky slopes, meadows, ridges, washes and along streams.

Recorded Range: A southwestern species in the United States where it may be found in AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, TX and UT. Also found in northern Mexico. Ageratina herbacea is most heavily represented in AZ and NM. In Arizona throughout much of state, absent in the southwest corner.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Ageratina herbacea.

U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: No data available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.

Genus Information: 15 species in Ageratina in the United States. Ageratina is mostly a southern and western genus with two solid eastern species.

Comments: Fragrant Snakeroot is found in Arizona in forested areas and is fragrant as the name implies. It is not a desert species. It superficially resembles Brickellbush plants of the genus Brickellia; although both are in the same tribe they have technical differences in their flowers and leaves. The plants above were photographed in late July near Mount Ord in Maricopa County as they were just starting to bloom.

Navajo's used a cold infusion of this plant for headache and fever. See full species account from Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 8/26/2012; Updated, 07/25/2015, updated format 09/04/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, as Eupatorium herbaceum.
The Jepson Manual, Citation: Sun Aug 26 07:08:53 2012
Guy L. Nesom, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 21 | Asteraceae | Ageratina, Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford.
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names and recorded geographic locations,