Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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  • Wild Quinine

    SCIENTIFIC NAME: Parthenium integrifolium

    COMMON NAME: Wild Quinine, American Feverfew, Eastern Feverfew, Prairie-Dock, Cutting-Almond, Nephritic Plant

    BLOOM TIME: June, July, Aug, Sept

    Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie credit: R. Kapala


    • Plants can grow 2 to 3 ft. tall.
    • Flowers & seed heads resemble cauliflower or roses.
    • Native Americans used the mashed leaves to treat burns.
    • Native Americans also made tea for cough, colds, ear infections, sore throats, fevers, & infections.
    • Tea from the boiled roots was used to treat dysentery & malaria in WWI when tropical supplies of quinine from the bark of the Cinchona tree where cut off.
    • Leaves are sandpapery to touch & have a bitter taste.


    • Mammalian herbivores appear to ignore this plant as a food source because the leaves are sandpapery in texture & bitter-tasting.
    • Flowers attract bees, wasps, flies, beetles, & plant bugs.