Late Boneset (Eupatorium serotinum)
Late Boneset (Eupatorium serotinum) is an herbaceous perennial plant that grows 3-6 feet tall in Central Florida. It is largely unbranched below, but forms occasional side stems toward the apex. The stems have indistinct lines of white hairs, and are generally pubescent (meaning covered by a layer of fine hair).
The flat-topped inflorescence consists of numerous heads of white disk florets; there are no ray florets. Each flowerhead has about 12 disk florets. Each disk floret is about ¼" long, narrow and tubular, with 5 small triangular lobes at the top. There is also a long divided style that is white, which protrudes conspicuously from each floret.
The blooming period occurs in late summer-early fall and lasts about a month. There was only a mild floral scent on these individuals. This plant (like the devil's walkingstick) forms small colonies by means of rhizomes.
Depending on where you are across this plant's range it is referred to also as Lateflowering thoroughwort, Fall boneset, Late flowering boneset, and Late eupatorium.
The flowers of Late Boneset are popular with many kinds of insects, including bees, wasps, flies, small to medium-sized butterflies, skippers, moths, and beetles. Most of these insects seek nectar, although bees may collect pollen. Ailanthus Webworm Moths have been photographed on this species in other parts of its range.
On this very hot August afternoon the trail is devoid of insects, larger animals, and people.
This colony of native plants can be best seen by accessing the trail from the Lake Monroe Trailhead which is on the southeast side of the Lake Monroe Park on 17-92 in Debary.
Also nearby is The Devil's Walkingstick grove.