white snakeroot, North American woods perennial ( Eupatorium urticifolium ) of the family Asteraceae (aster family), having a flat-topped cluster of small white flowers. It is of the same genus as the boneset and joe-pye weed. The herbage contains tremetol, a toxic principle causing "milk sickness," or milk fever. White snakeroot is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.