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

Ageratina herbacea, Fragrant Snakeroot Ageratina herbacea, Fragrant Snakeroot    Ageratina herbacea, Fragrant Snakeroot Ageratina herbacea, Fragrant Snakeroot    Ageratina herbacea, Fragrant Snakeroot

Scientific Name: Ageratina herbacea
Common Name: Fragrant Snakeroot
Also called: Apache Snakeroot
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Eupatorium herbaceum)
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, triangular, 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.

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