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Joe Pye Weed

7 Jul 2021 1:00 AM | Brenda Peshak

Joe Pye Weed

One of the hardiest and most dramatic of our native fall bloomers, Joe Pye Weed can reach 6’ (often more) in moist soil and part to full sun. Its plumy domes of vanilla-scented, dusky-rose colored flowers are a common roadside sight in late July through early September, when it becomes a magnet for bees and butterflies.

Facts about Eutrochium purpureum:

Scientific Name : Eutrochium purpureum
Former Name: formerly classified and still sold as Eupatorium purpureum
Bloom Time:
late summer
Color: rose-colored blooms
Type or Average Life Span:  native perennial
Height:  6′
Width/Spread:  spreads prolifically in right conditions

The Legend of Joe Pye Weed :

According to legend, Joe Pye was an Indian medicine man in New England who cured typhus with E. purpureumEupatorium perfoliatum, boneset, is said to have relieved symptoms of break-bone (dengue) fever. Today, however, its best use is in native or prairie gardens.

Easy to grow, low maintenance, relatively disease free, and unpalatable to deer, Joe Pye Weed is not for small-space gardens, as it forms a large clump and self-seeds freely. However, in the right spot, a mature planting—or several–is a breathtaking sight. Give this plant room to breathe.

You will find Joe Pye Weed in the Pollinator Bed at Demonstration Garden.

Joe Pye Weed likes to stay moist but in full sun. The blooms are good attractor for butterflies. It is most commonly found in moist meadows and marshes in northeastern Iowa. Plants have serrated, lance-shaped leaves, purple spotted stems, and grow up to 6 feet tall.  Dusty rose-colored flowers are produced in dense, flat-topped clusters in late summer.

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