This underused plant has everything going for it: flowers through most of the summer; an upright, beautiful habit; and tremendous fall and winter interest. Wild quinine grows 36-40 inches tall with a spread of 18-24 inches. This architectural plant mixes well with grasses. In summer, the white, flat, mounded clusters of flowers look like summer clouds floating through the garden. In fall, the seedheads, stems and foliage turn dark brown, creating a strong presence going into winter. I especially like it with hardy geranium (Geranium sanguineum) and Moorhexe purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea spp.caerulea ‘Moorhexe’).
Common Name: Wild quinine
Botanical Name: Parthenium integrifolium
Color: Flat-headed clusters of white flowers.
Blooming Period: June through August
Exposure: Full sun
When to Plant: Throughout the growing season as long as you water regularly until established
Soil: Moist to slightly dry
Watering: Keep moist until established. Thereafter, does not need supplemental watering.
When to fertilize: Needs no commercial fertilizer. Nutrients can be provided by mulching with leaf compost every two to three years.
Hardiness Zones: 4 through 8
In Your Landscap e: I like to grow it with ornamental grasses, coneflower (Echinacea spp.)andGeranium sanguineum.
From Wisconsin Gardening Volume II Issue VI. Photo courtesy of Roy Diblik.