Ageratina herbacea, Fragrant Snakeroot
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)
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.
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.