Eutrochium purpureum (Sweet Joe-Pye Weed)

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 357.

Where Commonly Found: Forests, woodlands, meadows, fields, CT, MA, NH, NY, RI, VT.

How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key to Eutrochium purpureum
Illinois Wildflowers website for ID photos of Eutrochium purpureum.
Missouri Botanical Garden description of Eutrochium purpureum.  Click on more images.

Flower Color:  Light mauve pink or whitish disk flowers with long pale pink floral bracts.
Flower Type:  Tiny flowers in compound inflorescence panicles, 4-8 disk florets, 1/4″-3/8″, with no ray florets, with a divided white style extending from each disk floret.  The clusters aggregate into broad, domelike terminal and upper axillary panicles.
Flower Time:  Mid-July to late September.
Leaf Arrangement:  Mostly whorled
with 3+ whorled leaves per node, around a central stem that is solid, purple at joints, otherwise light green to purple-tinged and glabrous, but smooth below the inflorescence.  
Leaf Type:  
Simple, 3″-12″ long and 3-1/2″ across or larger, broadly lanceolate or ovate, crenate-serrated along margins, dull green and hairless on upper surface, pale green and hairless to finely pubescent on underside, can be vanilla scented when bruised.
Height: 5′ – 7′
Seed Collection:  Nutlets mature to shiny black, 4-5 weeks after flower has faced, few of seeds will be viable and will plump and swollen.  Either cut top of plant or shake into paper bag.  Do not need to be perfectly cleaned.  Store in refrigerator.

Attracts:  Bees, Butterflies
Use:  Garden, Naturalizing
Light:  Full Sun to Part Sun
Hardiness Zone:  4 to 9  USDA Zone Map
Soils:  Moist
Notes:  Sweet Joe-Pye Weed is nice in open woodlands and naturalizing areas.  Great value to bees and butterflies.  More tolerant of drier soils than Eutrochium maculatum.
Native to Northeast (except ME, RARE IN VT), Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Midwest, US:   Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North American Plant Atlas (NAPA).

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