Joe Pye weed
3 - 6
Late summer - early fall
Height at Maturity
3 feet to 8 feet
Width at Maturity
3 feet to 4 feet
Sun to part sun
Moist, rich but adapts to clay
About this species:
Joe-Pye Weed is an erect, clump-forming, native, herbaceous perennial of the Aster family that is known for its beautiful and fragrant flowers. The genus name, Eutrochium, is derived from two Greek words. Eu means "well." Troche means "wheel-like" and refers to the plants' whorled leaves. The specific epithet, purpureum, means purple and refers to the flower color. The Eutrochium genus has several species that are known as Joe-Pye Weed. The species are very similar and can be easily confused. This particular species is late-blooming and native to eastern and central North America.
Tiny, tubular-shaped, pinkish-to-purple blooms are arranged into a dome that measures from 12 to18 inches across. They have a vanilla scent and bloom from summer to early fall. The flowers of this plant attract butterflies and bees and are important for the production of honey. The leaves are lance-shaped and green, with serrate margins. They are arranged in whorls of 3 to 4 along erect, green stems. The plant measures 5 to 7 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide.
The Joe-Pye Weed prefers full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained to occasionally wet soils. It is intolerant of dry soils. This plant may be propagated by seeds, stem cuttings, or division. It is best to divide the plant in the fall as it goes dormant. Stem cuttings may be taken in the late spring. Sow the seeds in the fall because they require 3 months of cold and moist stratification; however, actual germination is very low. The plant should be cut back at the end of the season.
Key to Label Symbols:
Hollow stems, leaves and roots are sources of shelter for wildlife. Insects may make a winter home under dropped leaves. Other animals may make shelters within the roots of the plant.
Birds and other wildlife use the seeds, berries and leaves for their food source. Leaves may be used to help build nests for birds
Bees, butterflies, birds and some insects use nectar for their food. Pollen is also used by some wildlife.