Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Common Wild Quinine - Parthenium integrifolium   L.
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Parthenium with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
DistributionThroughout the Piedmont and the lower Mountains; also over most the Coastal Plain, but absent in the coastal region. The var. mabryanum is found mainly in the Sandhills region, as well as part of the eastern Coastal Plain and lower Piedmont.

CT to MN, south to GA and TX.
AbundanceCommon across the Piedmont and much of the western Coastal Plain, including the Sandhills; fairly common in the lower Mountains, but nearly absent in the northern counties. The var. mabryanum is locally fairly common to common in the Sandhills, but less so elsewhere.
HabitatDry to mesic soils of margins and openings in oak-hickory and pine-oak-hickory woodlands, rock outcrops, clearings, powerlines, and roadsides. The var. mabryanum is typically found in sandy pine-oak woodlands, especially responding favorably to fire.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting late May-October, but most often flowers in early summer. Flowers strongly following fire.
IdentificationPlants grow 1.5-3 feet tall from a thickened rootstock. Basal leaves are much the largest, ovate, long-stalked, but stem leaves are short-stalked to sessile. Stems are smooth or very short hairy (hairs less than 1 mm long). Leaf surfaces are somewhat rough to smooth. It closely resembles the rather rare Glade Wild Quinine (P. auriculatum), but the whole plant in the common species is a purer green color (vs. army olive-green), stem hairs shorter (vs. hairs 1-3 mm long), and leaf texture much less coarse (scabrous). The somewhat distinctive var. mabryanum resembles the nominate variety, but is shorter in stature, has smaller and narrower leaves, and fewer heads per plant (see Weakley [2018] for a key). Some plants have leaves with lobed or undulate margins; these are simply a growth form localized to the Sandhills, and intermediates are commonly found.
Taxonomic CommentsThe var. henryanum of some floras is included in var. integrifolium. As noted above, this species consists of two distinct varieties in the state, the widespread nominate one and the more restricted var. mabryanum.

Other Common Name(s)The species is typically named just as Wild Quinine, but that is not suitable, as the other species in NC is named as Glade Wild Quinine. At times named as American Feverfew.
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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B.A. SorrieHoke County, 2015, Calloway Preserve NE of NC 211. HokePhoto_natural
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