Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Dog-fennel - Eupatorium capillifolium   (Lamarck) Small
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Eupatorium with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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Author(Lamarck) Small
DistributionCoastal Plain, Sandhills, and Piedmont; scarce in low Mountains. The species is clearly spreading into all corners now of the upper Piedmont and some low Mountain areas, based on recent iNaturalist photos.

CT to KY and MO, south to southern FL and TX. Bahamas.
AbundanceCommon to locally abundant in the Coastal Plain, Sandhills, and central-eastern Piedmont, but only infrequent in the westernmost Piedmont and Mountains -- lacking records for many counties there.
HabitatXeric to mesic, disturbed, Longleaf Pine savannas and flatwoods, sandhills, Loblolly Pine-oak-hickory woodlands, outcrops, rocky slopes, fields, pastures, roadsides, powelines. Well adapted to disturbances, including fire.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting September-November. The flowers are sweetly, but not strongly, fragrant.
IdentificationThis and Yankeeweed (E. compositifolium) are our tallest eupatoriums (to 6.5 feet), with many strongly ascending branches bearing abundant tiny florets. Leaves are abundant and may be opposite or alternate, finely dissected into threadlike segments. Yankeeweed differs in its broader leaf segments (though still linear) at least a millimeter wide (vs. 0.5-1 mm wide). These are very familiar "weedy" species of abandoned fields, with Dog-fennel being truly abundant in many places; to many people, it seems more like a tall grass than a species in the aster family.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Yankeeweed (typically applied to E. compositifolium)
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFACU link
USACE-empFACU link
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B.A. SorrieSame data. ScotlandPhoto_natural
B.A. SorrieRoadside by Good News Bay, Oct 2020. ScotlandPhoto_natural
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