Plant Listings

Eupatorium odoratum

Common Names: Bitter Bush, Tonka Bean

Family: Asteraceae

Habit: Eupatorium odoratum is a woody herbaceous perennial growing as a climbing shrub to 3 meters in height, typically shorter. The leaves are arranged oppositely, to 15 cm in length, triangular to ovate with an acuminate leaf apex and dentate leaf margin with large teeth.  The vegetative structures are covered with articulate hairs throughout.

The actinomorphic flowers are arranged in corymbs of heads subtended an involucre made of 4 series of phyllaries. The calyx is modified as hairs forming a pappus.  The corolla has 5 fused white to lavender petals.  There are 5 stamens fused to the base of the corolla.  The ovary is inferior with a single locule.  The fruit is an achene at maturity that retains the modified calyx (pappus).

Habitat: Eupatorium odoratum grows in human disturbed areas as well as Pine Woodlands, and the edges of Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Woodland/Shrubland (low coppice/scrubland).

Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Eupatorium odoratum occurs on all island groups in the Bahamian Archipelago as well as throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Eupatorium odoratum is not used medicinally in the Bahamas.