Parthenium hispidum

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: American feverfew 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Central United States
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Fragrant
Tolerate: Drought


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Parthenium hispidum, commonly called American feverfew, is a clump-forming perennial that is native to Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas. In Missouri, it is primarily found on limestone glades, bald knobs and rocky prairies in the Ozark region of the State. It is very similar to the more common Parthenium integrifolium (wild quinine), except it has hairy stems and lower leaves (hispidum from Latin meaning hairy) plus a creeping rootstock. Rough hairs are typically found on the stems, lower surfaces of lower leaves and lower leaf veins (Steyermark). This plant typically grows to 2-3' tall. Tiny white flowers (5 tiny rays on each flower are barely perceptible) in dense, flat-topped, terminal corymbs bloom from late spring to early autumn atop upright stems clad with coarse, toothed, wavy-margined, lanceolate-elliptic stem leaves. Basal leaves are much larger than stem leaves.

The genus name Parthenium comes from the Greek meaning "virgin", in reference to the fertile ray florets and infertile disk florets of species in this genus.

Specific epithet means bristly or hairy.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Best in native plant gardens, cottage gardens, wild gardens or as part of a naturalized meadow or prairie. Although not overly ornamental, it has a long flowering period and can be effective in borders.