Eutrochium purpureum (Sweet Joe Pye Weed)

Scientific Name

Eutrochium purpureum (L.) E. E. Lamont

Common Names

Kidney Root, Sweetscented Joe Pie Weed, Sweet Joe Pye Weed, Gravel Root, Trumpet Weed, Green Stem Joe Pye Weed, Joe Pye, Joe Pyeweed, Marsh Milkweed, Queen of the Meadow, Sweet Joe Pyeweed, Sweet Scent Joe Pyeweed


Cunigunda purpurea, Eupatoriadelphus purpureus, Eupatoriadelphus purpureus var. purpureus, Eupatorium falcatum, Eupatorium fuscorubrum, Eupatorium harnedii, Eupatorium holzingeri, Eupatorium purpureum subsp. purpureum, Eupatorium purpureum f. purpureum, Eupatorium trifoliatum, Eupatorium trifoliatum var. trifoliatum

Scientific Classification

Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Eutrochium


Color: Purplish-pink
Bloom Time: Mid to late summer


Eutrochium purpureum is a clump-forming perennial, up to 8 feet (2.4 m) tall and up to 4 feet (1.2 m) wide. The stems are upright, thick, round, and purple, with whorls of leaves at each node. Leaves are lance-shaped, sometimes purple-tinged, up to 12 inches (30 cm) long and have a somewhat wrinkled texture. The flowers are tiny, vanilla-scented, dull pinkish-purple in color, in large, terminal, domed, compound inflorescences, Plants bloom in mid to late summer.

Eutrochium purpureum - Sweet Joe Pye Weed

How to Grow and Care

Sweet Joe Pye Weed is happiest with full sun to part shade in moist to wet soils. It prefers that the soil does not dry out which is why clay works well for Joe Pye. It has no serious insect or disease problems. Sweet Joe Pye Weed just isn't a fussy or difficult plant to grow. If you do not want Sweet Joe Pye Weed to spread hither and yon, then cut the seed heads off. If you are propagating by seed in the fall, then plant thickly as germination is usually low. Propagation is best from softwood cuttings taken in late spring or by division in fall as they go dormant, or in the spring just as shoots first appear. See more at Growing and Using Sweet Joe Pye Weed.


Sweet Joe Pye Weed has such a rich history for healing. This plant is said to get its name from Joe Pye, who was an Indian healer from New England during the time of the Pilgrims. He is said to have used Eupatorium purpureum to treat a variety of ailments including deadly typhus outbreaks. The entire plant is still used as alternative medicine. The roots are the strongest part of the plant for healing. If you crush the leaves, they have an apple scent. Once dried they are burned to repel flies. Tea made from this plant is used as an alternative medicine for fever, urinary tract problems, fever, rheumatism, gallstones, and fluid retention. See more at Growing and Using Sweet Joe Pye Weed.


Native to northwest, eastern and central North America.


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