Eutrochium purpureum – Sweet Joe-Pye Weed


This species is much less commonly available than its relatives Hollow-stem Joe-Pye Weed or Trumpetweed (E. fistulosum) and Spotted Joe-Pye Weed (E. maculatum). It’s flowers tend to be lighter in color than its relatives – they appear white at first but become more purplish with age. They also have a light vanilla scent, hence the common name. Sweet Joe-Pye Weed is more tolerant of shade than its congeners and can even be grown in open woods. A quintessential back-of-the border perennial and an important nectar source for butterflies.

We’ve seen numerous plants from other growers misidentified as E. purpureum. Identification is actually easy: Sweet Joe-Pye Weed has mostly green stems – the only purple on the stem is at the leaf nodes. It doesn’t help that there is a variety ‘Atropurpureum’ that is often thought to be this species. It’s not. It’s a hybrid.

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Aster family (Asteraceae)

Formerly in the genus Eupatorium

Photo by Mason Brock (Masebrock), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Updated 8 October 2023

Additional information

Pot size

1-Quart, 2-Year, 1.25-Quart, 1-Year