Early last summer, I was sorting through the last of my garden center’s perennial starts, and I spied a sprig of something that had somehow seeded itself in the same container of the plant that was packaged for sale. I wasn’t sure, but I suspected that the alien was some type of herb, and I bought the perennial plant primarily to acquire the self-seeder in its pot.

By mid-August of 2021, my self-seeder had bloomed, and I could say for sure that I had given the desirable herb boneset a start in my garden.

May be an image of flower and outdoors

This morning, June 12, 2022, a year after I discovered my first boneset plant, I discovered that another had sprung up several feet away from its mother plant. This baby came in full bloom.

At the time that I spotted the baby, I had been watching his mother for weeks. She is growing, too, but as of mid-June, she has not yet bloomed in 2022. Nevertheless, I am thrilled that I have 2 boneset plants at the beginning of the garden season in 2022.

My boneset plant in September of 2021.

With its delicate sprays of tiny white blossoms, the boneset plant reminds me a bit of Queen Ann’s Lace, and I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to encourage Queen Ann’s Lace to sprinkle itself throughout my garden. I am happy to say that Boneset has elected to provide much the same type of delicacy in my yard as Queen Ann might have provided, and Boneset has medicinal value, too,

I have checked several sources, and although the reports vary, every text attributes several types of healing properties to Boneset,

Some sources say that when broken bones were set, the patient was instructed to infuse themselves with boneset to encourage healing. Other sources disagree and say that boneset has been used to treat the disease breakbone fever, and that is why it is named boneset

“It has been said that boneset is good for everything. Known to Native Americans as feverwort, they used the above-ground parts alleviate aches, reduce fevers, colds, and sore throats, as well as to treat arthritis, malaria, and pneumonia. It has previously been used to treat dengue fever, also know as breakbone fever, and the common name “boneset” was likely derived from this (Buhner, 1999). Buhner, Stephen Harrod (1999) Herbal Antibiotics. Storey Publishing, North Adams, MA.

Everyone seems to agree that boneset has anti-inflammatory properties and that it is used to treat rheumatism and pain. Some say that it is a generalized boost to the immune system. Whatever it medicinal value, however, I grow the plant for its fairy-like, delicate white flower.

My boneset grows a little lower than the tall ornamental grasses in my garden, and yet, it still rises above most of the rest of my perennials. It makes my perennials appear that they are interspersed with the baby’s breath plant.  I love growing boneset in my garden.


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