A Welcome Weed

Joe Pye Weed

Joe Pye Weed, Eutrochium purpureum


“Weed” or “welcome” remains firmly in the eye of the beholder. 

This beautiful plant is known as “Joe Pye Weed,” but I consider it a lovely perennial flower.  A native wildflower throughout Eastern North America, this Eutrochium purpureum, was used by our Native Americans for healing.


July 21, 2015 garden midday 002


If you follow the link back to last summer’s post, you will see how our plant looked this time last year, soon after we planted it.  It has grown considerably larger this year.  It is a tall, architectural statement plant in our sunny garden this summer.

Not a single seedling appeared, so I wouldn’t consider this plant invasive in the least.  It hasn’t been so much as nibbled by a deer or rabbit, and is a hub of activity on sunny days.


July 21, 2015 garden midday 003


I love the red stems and sturdy foliage.  You’ll see that the leaves have not been nibbled by the insects who come to enjoy the flowers’ nectar.

Have you grown Joe Pye Weed?  It has proven to be a drought tolerant beauty in full sun.  The flowers last for more than a month.  It isn’t an easy plant to find in our area, but were I to find it again, I would definitely purchase another plant or two.


July 21, 2015 garden midday 006~

Woodland Gnome 2015

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

14 responses to “A Welcome Weed

  1. I didn’t realize it was tolerant of full sun. Good to know!

  2. It has grown tall! Mine is several years old, about 5 ft. wide and equally tall. It has self-sowed only one plant so far, is clumping, not rhizomatous, so I don’t consider it aggressive. Even near the river the wild clumps are scattered about, it plays well with others! I would say you could propagate either by division or seed. I can look for seedlings if you would like some.

    • That is so sweet of you, Eliza. Thank you for offering. I think this one will need dividing soon. When I planted it, I didn’t realize it would get so wide! It is close up against some other things I don’t want crowded out, and so I’d better take some ‘bites’ around the edges this coming spring when it appears. It is nice to know this is one we can enjoy without worrying that it will take over the place. have I mentioned how many poke berry plants I’ve yanked this year, after allowing only one to grow last year??? They are amazingly prolific! 🙂

  3. I garden on Long Island, N.Y. Zone 7A. I’ve had Joe Pye for several years. It increases a slow rate but does increase. I’d be happy to share.

    • Lita, That is so kind of you to offer! Do you increase yours by division? I am wondering whether it is a good candidate for taking stem cuttings. Have you tried that?
      If anyone is interested in growing Joe Pye, Lita has offered to share. Please leave a note with your email in the comments 😉 Thank you for visiting Forest Garden today, Lita, and for your kindness. Best wishes, WG ❤

  4. Joe Pye came to our garden unbidden, but he is more than welcome.

    • How wonderful for you! What do you know about its propagation, Ricki? I know it can be divided. Have you ever tried cuttings? Have you ever seen it become invasive in your area?

      • It just turned up…in exactly the right spot, so I have never felt the need to explore propagation. It increases each year, probably from underground stolons. I suppose I could divide it, but instead I enjoy watching it multiply. I think it is Eupatorium maculatum ‘Atropurpureum’, recently changed to Eutrechium.

        • Your nature spirits obviously love you, Rickii, and planted something wonderful for you right where you needed it. I’m amazed how much bigger ours is this year than last. It is endlessly fascinating to watch it all unfold…. E

  5. Beautiful addition to your garden.

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