Flower of the Day: Sweet Joe-Pye Weed

 Eutrochium pupureum; Asteraceae (aster family)

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Those wacky taxonomists are always re-naming things.  The genus formerly known as Eupatorium contained a large number of species, a few of which I’ll be featuring over the next several days.  Colloquially they’re known as joe-pye weeds, thoroughworts, bonesets, and snakeroots.   Apparently the joe-pye weeds are now in the genus Eutrochium (for a while they were in the genus Eupatoriadelphus).

There’s a lot of folklore around the medicinal uses of this plant, named for a Native American who used it for a variety of ailments.  It’s a plant with a lot of presence, growing to seven feet tall in rich, constantly moist soils all over the eastern half of North America.

DSC_0024 Has a slightly sweet scent, too.  If you have a swale at the back of your yard where nothing wants to grow, plant some joe-pye weed in it as the backdrop for a perennial border.

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