Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Joe Pye Weed

(Pictured: Joe Pye Weed from Kurt Stuber, wikipedia)

Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum) is a hardy plant that will get from five to seven feet in height and two to three feet in width for the spread. It is known for being easy to grow and resistant to death and disease. It is classified as an herbaceous perennial, and will grow season after season. It is a low maintenance plant that will grow well in the water garden or a bog setting.

The flowers can be tiny but the color will be throughout the plant; they are typically vanilla scented. This aroma will permeate the entire garden plot and on windy days will carry through the air. The flowers of Joe Pye Weed grow in whorled clusters, usually five to eight in a bunch. These flowers will attract plenty of butterflies to the mix from their scent and abundant color palate.

How to Plant and Grow Joe Pye Weed
Joe Pye Weed will need to be planted in an area that has full sun to partial shade. It has moderate watering needs that will be taken care of while in bog and water garden uses. It will thrive when planted in zones four to nine on the USDA zone chart. The mauve/pink billowy blooms will be seen typically from July to September. To keep the plant doing well, you’ll need to cut it back in the winter. You can get stem cuttings from it to replant throughout the garden.
In winter the plant will still be quite attractive due to the seed heads. These will be very large and will be readily visible in the winter time, giving a very attractive view. These are great as background items in a bog or water garden for both their springtime appeal and the interesting seed heads in the off season.

Old Folk Remedy
Joe Pye Weed has been known as a Native American folk remedy for fevers. A tea was made from the leaves, used in inducing sweating in the drinkers to force out what ailed them. The flowers of the Joe Pye Weed were used in treatments for sexually transmitted disease and pain from birthing children. Bathing a child in a bath with the plant was said to strengthen the child and make it stronger and resistant to disease and injury.

Scientific Classification for Joe Pye Weed
  • Kingdom Plantae – Plants
  • Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
  • Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
  • Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
  • Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
  • Subclass Asteridae
  • Order Asterales
  • Family Asteraceae – Aster family
  • Genus Eupatorium L. – thoroughwort
  • Species Eupatorium purpureum L. – sweetscented joepyeweed


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