Eutrochium Species, Sweet Joe Pye Weed, Queen of the Meadow, Motherwort, Boneset, Quillwort

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 falcatum
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

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

Mount Savage, Maryland

Takoma Park, Maryland

Valley Lee, Maryland

Brookline, Massachusetts

Dracut, Massachusetts

Belmont, Michigan

Constantine, Michigan

Livonia, Michigan

Whitmore Lake, Michigan

Andover, Minnesota

Ely, Minnesota

Isle, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota(2 reports)

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

Silverton, Oregon

Springfield, 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

Clinton, Tennessee

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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 11, 2020, RhodyDude from Takoma Park, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Although advertised as the Joe Pye weed to grow in shade, Eutrochium purpureum really does better in more sunny conditions. In part-shade conditions, the color of the flower is more washed out, the flower is smaller, and the plant is prone to flopping. Not recommended for full shade. It's still attractive for a lightly shaded garden, but grows best with the support of tall neighboring plants to hold it in place.


On Oct 21, 2016, landscapergal from Silverton, OR wrote:

I grew this for years in the hi desert (no. calif on Nev. border) Zone 5-6. It didn't require much water thrived in heavy clay alkaline soil and reliably came back every year. About 4-5 ft tall. Maybe in better conditions it would have been taller. It also didn't spread but these were hostile conditions. I loved this plant. Was nervous about planting it initially but it surprised me! I'm planting it now in Oregon so we shall see.


On Jun 1, 2015, JoeM50 from Mount Savage, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

Sweet Joe Pye Weed is unlikely to survive in a true bog garden nor would any of the several species which grow in the Mid-Atlantic States. I have only seen Sweet Joe Pye Weed growing in light shade in an open forest or at the forest edge in moist to dry soil. The other species in this area prefer wet soil where they can be found near streams or sometimes in marshes. In addition the flowers are in cymes or panicles not umbels. Onions and Queen Anne's Lace have there flowers in umbels. In an umbel, all the pedicels or stems of the flower originate at a single point. A compound umbel has a group of umbels which originate at a single point.


On May 10, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A handsome, statuesque perennial. This is a big plant, usually getting about 6' tall or more.

Hardy in Z3-4 and south to Z8 in eastern N. America.

All the big species of this genus have lovely, large dusty rose flower heads which are very attractive to butterflies and other pollinators.

Unfortunately, the seed-heads tend to look messy rather than ornamental, and begin to detract from the flowering display within a week of the start of flowering. This is especially obvious with the white-flowered cultivars. Plants whose flower heads are cut back in early August may rebloom in September.

In the Chicago Botanic Garden's 2014 performance evaluation of Eupatoriums/Eutrochiums, this species received 4 stars out of 5. [>[email protected]... read more


On May 9, 2015, CharlysGardenPl from Ferndale, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love this plant. It is drought tolerant with an infrequent drink, but it remains small and leaves suffer. Average garden watering gives you a tall plant with huge flowers. Root area expands yearly, and can be divided.


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 overall than Butterflybush from China for pollinators). I've seen some wild specimens of Sweet Joe-Pye-Weed growing around the woods in southeast Pennsylvania. According to "A Field Guide To Wildflowers" by Peterson & McKenny, this species has domed flower clusters, not flattish; has green stems that can have purple nodes (leaf joints); has leaves in whorls of 3 to 4 around the stems, and grows more in upland thickets and woods.


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


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!


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


On Mar 7, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) 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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.