Tall joe-pye weed graces our backyard filling in and creating a hedge like area. As summer blossoms, joe-pye weed holds steady with tall, leafed, unbranched, and hollow stems. The leaves have a purple hue to center. Then when the end of July and August rolls around, the plant blooms leaving us with soft lilac hue in contrast to the deep yellows of Black-eyed Susans. It attracts a variety of butterflies too.
Name: Eupatorium maculatum or Joe-pye weed, purple boneset, gravel root, Queen of the Meadow are a few of the more common names; several varieties are well known: E. dubium, E. fistulosum, E. maculatum, E. purpureum, E. steeli. Perennial herb, native to North America in the sunflower family.
Parts Used: Root, gathered in autumn
Habitat:: perfect for damp soils, in marshy areas, stream banks and can also thrive on rich garden soils. We have clay soil here, which holds in moisture. Joe-pye thrives. Grows about 5-6 feet tall. Over 40 species have been noted
Uses: diuretic, nervine; an herbal legend has it that a Native American doctor named Jopi or Joe Pye, used it to cure typhus; at the very least there are accounts of joe-pye helping with fevers; known to be helpful for gravel and renal issues, gout, hematuria ((or blood in the urine)
Note: Always check with your health care practitioner before using a plant with medicinal history. Some plants can interfere with medications and other herbs.
Do you have a good use for joe-pye? It’s a new plant for me to learn about. It’s abundant here. When fall comes and the first frost, I will be digging, gathering and drying root. Please let me know if you have any other uses for joe-pye… thanks.