Friday, September 24, 2021

Joe Pye Weed

By Cherie Luke, Jefferson County Master Gardener since 2014 

Eupatorium purpureum which has officially been changed to Eutrochium purpureum, aka Joe Pye weed, is a North American native in the Asteraceae family. There are about 40 species in this genus. The plants range in height from 2’-3’ for Little Joe, to up to 10’ tall and 3’-4’ wide, so give them plenty of space in your garden. They can be planted in average soil and grow well in alkaline soils. Blooms are a beautiful rosy/purple color and bloom from late summer to fall. Plant in full sun to part shade.

The common name, Joe Pye, came from a Mohegan Indian who was an herbalist that lived in the late 1700’s in Massachusetts. Joseph recommended Eutrochium purpureum for the treatment of typhoid fever. These plants induce sweating and were useful in a number of ailments. If you haven’t been to Denver Botanic Gardens lately, I highly recommend you make a reservation to visit. The gardens are still timing entries. The Joe Pye Weed is spectacular! And so are the rest of the gardens!

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