Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Hairy Thoroughwort - Eupatorium pubescens   Muhlenberg ex Willdenow
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AuthorMuhlenberg ex Willdenow
DistributionPoorly known owing to confusion with, and recent splitting out from, the very similar Roundleaf Thoroughwort (E. rotundifolium). Many specimens of Hairy Thoroughwort are certainly still labelled as "rotundifolium" and lack annotations. Probably occurs throughout the Piedmont and Mountains. A careful check of herbarium specimens is needed. The map below is grossly incomplete, especially as there are many good photos on iNaturalist of this species in counties where specimens have apparently not yet been confirmed; it is presumed to occur in all Piedmont counties.

ME? and NH to OH and AR, south to northern FL and LA.
AbundanceSeemingly common to very common across the Piedmont, and probably the southern Mountains; likely uncommon to infrequent in much of the Mountains, and rare or absent in the Coastal Plain and Sandhills. Weakley's (2018) map codes it in NC as "common" in the Piedmont, but "uncommon" in the Mountains as well as in the Coastal Plain (where we currently lack specimen records). Oddly, the NCNHP has a State Rank of S1, but this is clearly incorrect, and the editors suggest S5 -- as it is clearly a common species across the Piedmont and into much of the mountains.
HabitatMesic to dry or moist woodland openings, forest openings, glades, barrens, fields, meadows, roadsides, powerlines. Occurs in typical dry to mesic edge habitats for many members of the genus.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July - early October.
IdentificationHairy Thoroughwort is closely related to Roundleaf Thoroughwort but often grows taller (up to 3 feet or more), and the leaves have an olive-green tone, rather than gray-green or plain green. Leaf margins are generally sharply toothed vs. crenate (low, rounded teeth), and the general leaf shape is indeed more ovate as opposed to rotund. Note the absence in the Coastal Plain (at least as far as known). It differs from the very slightly narrower-leaved E. godfreyanum by the leaves having the two main side veins angled away from the main vein and then curved, such that the leaves are prominently 3-veined and not pinnately veined as in that less common species.
Taxonomic CommentsOften treated as E. rotundifolium var. ovatum.

Other Common Name(s)Hairy Boneset, Hairy Eupatorium
State RankS1 [S5]
Global RankG5T5 [G5]
State Status
US Status
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
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B.A. SorrieSame data; midstem leaves. MoorePhoto_natural
B.A. SorriePiedmont, dry-mesic margin of Pine Grove Church Road, Aug 2009. MoorePhoto_natural
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