Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sweet Joe Pye Weed
Eutrochium purpureum

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Eutrochium (yoo-TRO-kee-um) (Info)
Species: purpureum (pur-PUR-ee-um) (Info)

Synonym:Eupatorium purpureum
Synonym:Eupatoriadelphus purpureus
Synonym:Eupatorium purpureum var. amoenum
Synonym:Eupatorium trifoliatum
Synonym:Eupatorium purpureum var. purpureum

9 vendors have this plant for sale.

77 members have or want this plant for trade.

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36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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There are a total of 24 photos.
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14 positives
5 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Rickwebb On Feb 10, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This native from NH to MN and southward is a very tall, easy, reliable perennial whose big flower clusters are loved by many pollinators, especially Swallowtail butterflies. It makes a better plant than Butterflybush from China, the latter which gets icky in time unless cut way down every year and then often dies out after several years. I've seen some wild specimens of Sweet Joe-Pye-Weed growing around the woods in southeast Pennsylvania.

Positive bethmuse On Mar 28, 2013, bethmuse from Gainesville, FL wrote:

I bought a plant of Joe Pye Weed at a NatIve Plant Sale and when planted it grew to be enormous! I couldn't reach the top of the stems. It attracted loads of Tiger Swallowtails both males and females and they laid eggs and I found 2 Chrysalises. The following year it hardly grew at all! Then the year after that it came back again, but was never as glorious as the first year. I have come to realize because I'm in Zone 8.5 - 9 that it's probably out of its range. It has never come back after that 3rd year. I will try to post a photo.
Gainesville, Florida

Positive andrizzle On Jul 24, 2012, andrizzle from Clay, NY wrote:

Grows wild in our creekbed. We have hardly gotten any rain this summer with days hovering in the 80s to 90s, and even the creek is getting low. These plants have been flowering for about a week now and look beautiful, with 0 care from me. Probably about 5 feet tall. No idea where they came from; they almost got weedwhacked!

Positive bungalowbees On Sep 3, 2011, bungalowbees from Salt Lake City, UT wrote:

Joe Pye is not the flashiest plant in the garden but it makes a strong background, fuss-free & hardworking at the end of August. This is our first year beekeeping and Joe Pye is covered with bees most of the day. Butterflies too but bees, all kinds, are all over these plants.

I've had a stand of Joe Pye enough years I don't remember the cultivar but it's about 6' with morning shade, afternoon sun, little water. It doesn't stray for me, nor does it throw offspring. It does bend down at the end of its time in the sun, generally when it's full of seeds & rain, but most of the time it stands tall without difficulty.

Positive kmm44 On Sep 8, 2010, kmm44 from Dayton, OH wrote:

My son gave me some of this at least 11 yrs ago. We planted it in full sun at the end of my yard in a newly converted perennial bed of other native prairie plants. ( I had gotten sick of the boring annuals after 25 yrs.) It must love its spot because it grows to 10 ft or more every year and puts on a beautiful show of dusty rose blooms.
I never needs staking and has not tried to take over the bed.

Positive bakingbarb On Sep 6, 2010, bakingbarb from Lynnwood, WA wrote:

Good thing I paid attention to where I planted this, it grows taller then the 6 foot fence I planted it in front of! I love this type of plant, it requires no care from me, no staking required for such a tall plant. Beautiful flowers and the plant is slowly spreading but more in a clumping manner, very well behaved.

Positive slywlf On Sep 6, 2010, slywlf from Brooksville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I picked up a couple small plants a couple years ago at the local Spring plant fair to benefit the library. At the time I knew only that it was popular with butterflies and bees - that was good enough for me! Well, I planted it with similarly tall plants, an ever-growing patch of Monarda, so it doesn't look silly when it gets tall. Instead the gigantic pinkish purple flower heads look like regal monarchs over the punk-rocker Bee Balms ;-)
My bees and butterflies are in heaven when they visit this patch of yard, and when they start to creep outward, as both tend to do, I either transplant or gift the extras to friends. Spectacular with a pair of pale purple butterfly bush, bright yellow button Tansy and goldenrod for contrast, and wild grape in the background of the mix!

Positive pammiesioux On Sep 6, 2010, pammiesioux from Saint Johnsville, NY wrote:

I enlarged my lawn area last year after having several damaged trees removed. I mowed the area and noticed several large plants coming up. I continued to mow around these plants to see what they were. I now have four large specimens of Sweet Joe Pye Weed. They are near a stone wall and get sun most of the day. The property was originally a large German homestead during the 1700-1800's. Stone walls mark my five acre property. I've found many plants and often wonder who planted them and how long they've been here.

Neutral kdhunt On Jun 5, 2010, kdhunt from Muncie, IN wrote:

More a question than a comment - can you trim this plant back to prevent it from becoming massive yet will it still bloom?

Positive bonehead On Oct 19, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Lovely large plant, be sure to give it plenty of room, and plant it near other large plants so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. The red stems are a great contrast, and the foliage turns a nice shade of gold in the fall. I leave most of the seedheads standing over winter except those that want to flop. Great combo with chocolate boneset and mugwort.

Negative abbymayme On Oct 21, 2008, abbymayme from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

Help! Joe Pye is taking over my garden! While it is a beautiful and easy to grow perennial its "creepability" is getting to be a nuisance. I also find it extremely difficult to dig up. I still want a small stand left, but would appreciate any ideas on how to get this stuff out of my garden! My idea now is to let it freeze over winter (I live in MN) and then tackle it in the spring. Good idea? I'd love to hear from anyone who has licked this problem.

Positive anneleac On Jul 12, 2008, anneleac from Owens Cross Roads, AL wrote:

A Joe Pye variety showed up in my garden in Northern AL last year. It grew to about 2 1/2 feet, with no blooms. I had no idea what it was, but the leaves were so attractive - they grow in the shape of swirls, so I called it my favorite weed. This year I transplanted my "weed" with no problems to another moist area of my yard with full sun. It is now about 4 feet tall, 2 feet wide and about ready to send up flower stalks. I've never watered it, and it's gorgeous, with a really nice upright shape.

Positive lalalee16 On Jun 26, 2007, lalalee16 from North Canton, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I started Joe Pye Weed from seed last year in my little greenhouse, then planted the seedlings in different locations to see how they would fair. Made the mistake of putting some of the seedlings in the front border of my sunny bed, and they are now well over 5 feet tall; I will attempt to move them this fall. In my part shade garden they are only about 2 to 3 feet tall. Much better! Butterflies absolutely love this plant.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 7, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

According to Underwood Gardens' catalog this plant is reputed to have been named after a Native American doctor who used it medicinally in Massachusetts. Is said to stimulate circulation and sweating; makes a gentle laxative and helps with kidney problems. Some Nat. Amer. tribes still consider it an aphrodisiac. It is for certain a butterfly magnet.
It is in danger of becoming extinct in the wild.

Neutral raisedbedbob On Feb 4, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I've grown Joe Pye Weed in my garden with great success - too much success. I'm still trying to contain it 3 years after deciding it was much too aggressive in the border. It is much better left to admire in the wild.

Positive tazjet On Aug 24, 2005, tazjet from Dallas, GA wrote:

Growing wild here in Dallas, GA along a creekbed. Plan to watch over the next few years and see how it multiplies. We have had a very wet summer, so that may have helped it. Will add more next year if I notice any differences. Love the plant. Butterflies by the dozens are attracted to it.

Positive kbarrett00 On Aug 16, 2004, kbarrett00 from Vancouver, WA wrote:

This plant requires almost no tending. I water it during heat spells. The flowers are fabulous and last a long time. The clump has tripled in size in 3 years. Mine is pale rose colored.

Positive squirleycat On Oct 19, 2003, squirleycat from Vicksburg, MS wrote:

My family is from the Southeast, primarily Mississippi. I had a great-aunt who was given the nickname "Pyejoe" by her father or some other close male relative. I've always suspected this plant gave rise to her nickname...As kids we always thought Aunt Pyejoe was "racy", since she smoked and played cards!

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 31, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Easily grown in average, medium wet to wet soils in full sun. Prefers moist, fertile, humusy soils which do not dry out. Cut plants to the ground in late winter.

Neutral jody On Nov 2, 2000, jody from MD &, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Eupatorium purpureum is the common Joe Pye Weed, however there are 40 species in this genus. One of the most common garden grown species is Eupatorium fistulosum. It grows 3' to 10' tall and about as wide. It likes moist, rich soil, sun to partshade. It flowers from mid summer to early autumn, the flowers come in colors of white, shades of purple and pink. The hardiness depends on the species. It can be invasive, but kept under control if divided every two years.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Opelika, Alabama
Owens Cross Roads, Alabama
Eureka, California
Jacumba, California
Denver, Colorado (2 reports)
Washington, District Of Columbia
Dunnellon, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Panama City, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Cordele, Georgia
Dallas, Georgia
Roswell, Georgia
Winterville, Georgia
Galva, Illinois
Hinsdale, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Palmyra, Illinois
Rock Falls, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Davenport, Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
Urbandale, Iowa
Yale, Iowa
Clay Center, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas
Benton, Kentucky
Prospect, Kentucky
New Orleans, Louisiana
South Portland, Maine
Whiting, Maine
Valley Lee, Maryland
Brookline, Massachusetts
Dracut, Massachusetts
Belmont, Michigan
Constantine, Michigan
Livonia, Michigan
Whitmore Lake, Michigan
Andover, Minnesota
Ely, Minnesota
Isle, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Park Rapids, Minnesota
Young America, Minnesota
Eupora, Mississippi
Florence, Mississippi
Ballwin, Missouri
Fulton, Missouri
Sullivan, Missouri
Thayer, Missouri
Omaha, Nebraska
Hooksett, New Hampshire
Scotch Plains, New Jersey
Buffalo, New York
Jamesville, New York
Pittsford, New York
Saint Johnsville, New York
Schenectady, New York
Shandaken, New York
Staten Island, New York
Tillson, New York
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina
High Point, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
West End, North Carolina
Columbus, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Defiance, Ohio
Fredericktown, Ohio
Hamilton, Ohio
Maumee, Ohio
New Matamoras, Ohio
Oak Hill, Ohio
Uniontown, Ohio
Enid, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Talihina, Oklahoma
Sherwood, Oregon
Springfield, Oregon
Walterville, Oregon
Bradford, Pennsylvania
Mercer, Pennsylvania
Millersburg, Pennsylvania
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Wakefield, Rhode Island
Clemson, South Carolina
Greenville, South Carolina
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Maryville, Tennessee
Mc Minnville, Tennessee
Powell, Tennessee
Viola, Tennessee
Westmoreland, Tennessee
Woodlawn, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Spring, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Harrisonburg, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Artondale, Washington
Bellevue, Washington
Bellingham, Washington
Blaine, Washington
Ferndale, Washington
Lynnwood, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Sequim, Washington
Stanwood, Washington
Appleton, Wisconsin
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Oak Creek, Wisconsin

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