WILD QUININE(*)

Parthenium integrifolium

Wild Quinine, Parthenium integrifolium is part of the Asteraceae (Aster) family and also referred to as Eastern Feverfew.  Long-stalked, rough perennial with large, toothed basal leaves which become smaller upwards.  Clumps of white, button-like flowers appear at top of plant.  This plant contains tannins and was used for medicinal and veterinary purposes by Native Americans.  The Catawba people used it as a poultice to treat burns. The ashes were applied to horses with “sore backs.” The roots were made into a tea to treat dysentery.

Wild quinine is a fly favorite, attracting soldier flies (Stratiomys and Odontomyia), Syrphid flies (Syrphidae), Tachnid flies (Tachnidae), and others. Far from the common housefly, these flies are both pollinators and predators.

SPECS: Genus: Parthenium; Species: integrifolium ; Plant Type: Forb; Life Cycle: Perennial; Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun; Soil Moisture: Medium Dry, Dry, Well Drained; Height: 2′ — 4′; Spread: 2′; Plant Spacing: 1′ — 2′; Bloom Time: May — September; Bloom Color: Cream, White; Advantages: Low maintenance, Medicinal uses, Pollinator conservation, Pollinators; USDA Zone: 4 — 8; Attracts: Beeflies, Syrphid flies; Tolerant: Clay, Deer, Drought, Erosion, Rocky soil; Plant Community: Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Nodding onion (Allium cernuum), Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Tall, Rough blazing star (Liatris aspera), Switch grass (Panicum virgatum), Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) & Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis);