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Eutrochium purpureum subsp. maculatum

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Kemper Code:  B826

Common Name: Joe Pye weed
Zone: 4 to 9
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Missouri Native: No
Native Range: Eastern United States
Height: 4 to 7 feet
Spread: 2 to 4 feet
Bloom Time: July - September   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: Light to deep purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low

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Plant Culture and Characteristics

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

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

Noteworthy Characteristics:

Eutrochium purpureum subsp. maculatum (formerly E. maculatum) primarily differs from species plants (see E. purpureum) by having purple-speckled stems and flower heads of 8-20 florets. It seems to have better winter hardiness than the species, and also tends to prefer moist soils whereas the species is more of an open woodland plant. This subspecies is native to damp meadows, thickets and coastal areas in eastern North America. It is also sometimes commonly called spotted Joe Pye weed in reference to the stems. Plants typically grow 4-7 tall on branched, purple-speckled stems clad with serrate, lance-shaped, medium green leaves (to 8 long) that typically appear in whorls of 3-6. Tiny, light to deep purple flowers in flat-topped, compound inflorescences bloom in mid-summer to early fall. Flowers are quite attractive to butterflies.


No serious insect or disease problems. Leaves may scorch if soils are allowed to dry out.


Tall plant for moist soils in borders, cottage gardens, meadows, native plant gardens, wild/naturalized areas or water margins.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011