Joe Pye Weed

Eupatorium fistulosum

Asteraceae - Aster Family

Joe Pye Weed is a perennial wetland plant that can be found in any state east of Texas, and as far north as Quebec, Canada. In nature it grows to 2-6’, but in cultivation it can grow up to 12’ tall.1 Joe Pye Weed prefers moist, neutral pH, loamy soils. These soil conditions are common along ditches and the banks of ponds, lakes, and wetlands. It flowers during mid to late summer (July-September).2

Joe Pye Weed is prized for its immense size and beautiful pink and purple flower heads. It is renowned for its adaptability to cold (zones 4-8)1, varied soil conditions, varied light conditions, and drought. It can take full sun to partial shade and neutral, sandy soils to acidic, marshy soils. The flowers are one foot across and attract bees, moths, and butterflies, specifically the swallowtail butterfly, which is its main pollinator.3

Joe Pye Weed is known to spread by rhizomes but can also be propagated asexually through two-node softwood tip cuttings. The seeds have a low germination rate, so they are not a reliable means of propagation.2 It is reported to have some medicinal properties. Teas made from the roots are reportedly used to treat fever, cold, chills, diarrhea, soreness after childbirth, and some liver and kidney problems.2

References and Useful Websites:
1 Floridata
2 Natural Resources Conservation Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture
3 North Creek Nurseries


This page was prepared by Melissa Blume, Biology 102, Fall 2011

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