I have identified this plant as boneset. However none of the plants on my property exhibit the “perforated leaf” which is supposedly the origin of the name Eupatorium perfoliatum. Have I misidentified this plant?
well, you are correct that it is a Eupatorium, but it is not E. perfoliatum. While the Carolinas have a very large number of Eupatoriums, I think that this one is Eupatorium serotinum. It typically has tiny hairs all over the plant that give it a sort of ashy appearance, and the leaves and flowers match this species. Boneset always has opposite leaves with fused leaf bases making the leaf look perforated.
Steven Hill, Ph.D., Botanist SCNPS