Parthenium integrifolium (wild quinine). This clump-forming member of the Asteraceae is native to the eastern and Midwestern United States, most often being found in the wild growing in disturbed areas of prairies or glades.
Under garden conditions of dry to medium soil moisture and full sun, wild quinine grows up to 1.5 m tall (5 ft.) with a spread of up to 0.5 m (2 ft.). Wild quinine flowers May-August/September, producing wooly-appearing white flowers on broad flat-topped terminal corymbs. In addition to a long blooming period during the summer months, the appearance of P. integrifolium is quite striking in the fall and winter garden. Wild quinine has a number of traditional medical uses in Native American cultures.
At Lurie Garden, P. integrifolium is used in areas of the Garden’s Light Plate to form areas of cloud-like white flowers during the summer. In the late fall and winter, the brown remnants of wild quinine add strong vertical structure and shades of deep brown to the Garden’s palette.
|Botanical Name||Parthenium integrifolium|
|Common Name||wild quinine|
|USDA Zone||4 thru 8|
|Light Requirement||Full Sun|
|Season(s) of interest||spring, summer, fall, winter|
|Height and Spread||2-4ft x 1-2ft (60-120cm x 30-60cm)|
|Attracts Wildlife||Provides Food for Birds, Hosts Caterpillars of Butterflies/Moths, Attracts Pollinators, Rarely Browsed by Mammalian Herbivores|
|Additional Information||Native to Chicago Region. Native range: NY west to Minnesota, South to Texas and East to Georgia.|
|Location in Lurie Garden||Northwest Light Plate, Northeast Light Plate, Southeast Light Plate|