Botanical Name: Eutrochium fistulosum, synonym Eupatorium fistulosum
Common Name: Joe Pye Weed, Queen-of-the-Meadow, Trumpetweed, Hollow Joe-Pye Weed, Purple Thoroughwort
Description: Joe Pye Weed is a stunning Florida native perennial that injects architectural interest to the late summer garden. This robust rhizomatous wildflower has sturdy stems with whorls of bold attractive foliage. In mid-summer, plants are topped with a frothy crown of rounded mauve-pink flower clusters. This species thrives in sunny moist sites where it is romanced by flocks of fluttering butterflies. Multiple stems emerge from the ground in spring looking somewhat like bamboo shoots at first. By mid-summer plants have soared toward the sky and are almost shrubby. The sturdy stems are hollow and are clothed in whorls of large attractive leaves arranged in groups of 4-7. They have toothed edges, an elliptical shape, and are up to 9” long with stout purplish petioles. From mid-summer until autumn, plants bear terminal dome shaped flower corymbs that range from 3-10” across. The flower clusters consist of many small feathery lavender-pink disk florets. The blossoms mature into soft buff colored seed clusters. Plants are 4-6’ tall with a spread of 2-3’ or wider, so be sure to give it plenty of room to grow.
Its native habitat is in edges of moist open woods, creek banks, seeps, springs, moist meadows, and low areas along roadsides and railroads in loam, lime rock, and sandy soils. It is pH adaptable. It prefers sun to part sun and wet to moist soils. Plants tolerate clay, moist loam, seepy gravel, or temporary standing water. Would grow great in your rain garden.
Flowers attract skippers, moths, and bees. The nectar is especially favored by butterflies. Swamp sparrows feed on the seed. Is the larval host plant for Clymene moth (Haploa clymene). This is deer resistant.
Avoid cutting stems back in winter to “tidy” the garden. If stalks remain, they will add winter interest, provide seed to birds, and perhaps enhance cold hardiness.
Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water. Some tolerance to salty wind but not direct salt spray.
This plant in 1-gallon containers is 8-15″ tall.
Plant Lore: Taxonomists recently changed the name of this species to Eutrochium fistulosum. In general, the former Eupatorium spp. with whorled leave are now called Eutrochium spp. and the bonesets which have opposite leaves are still Eupatorium spp. Unlike other members of the Aster Family, Eupatorium spp. flowers are composed only of disc florets with no rays.
Florida Hardiness Zones 8 – 10