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Eupatorium fistulosum (Joe Pye weed)
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Eupatorium fistulosum

Joe Pye weed

(syn. Eutrochium fistulosum)

Trumpetweed is a robust, upright perennial with hollow purple stems accented by huge, rounded, tight clusters of pink or purplish-mauve flowers. It is an important pollen and nectar plant and attracts butterflies (particularly the swallowtail butterfly) and other pollinaters by the dozens. Its height makes it an excellent backround plant in border perennial beds, but is also majestic standing alone. Flower color is darker in cooler weather.

SIZE
Eupatorium fistulosum LP50 - 50 per flat Availability
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Height

5-8 Feet

Spread

3-4 Feet

Spacing

24 Inches

Bloom Color

Pink

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-8

Joe Pye weed Interesting Notes

Eupatorium fistulosum is a robust, upright perennial with hollow purple stems accented by huge, rounded, tight clusters of pink or purplish-mauve flowers. It is an important pollen and nectar plant and attracts butterflies, particularly the swallowtail butterfly, and other pollinators by the dozens. Its height makes it an excellent background plant in border perennial beds but is also majestic standing alone. Plants can vary widely in size and height, ranging anywhere from 5’-8’. The flower color is darker in cooler weather. An architectural plant, joe-pye weed blooms in July and August with flowers maturing to a buff-colored seedhead that persists into the winter.

Found east of the Mississippi River, Eupatorium fistulosum is endemic to the edges of moist open woods, meadows, bogs, marshes, and stream banks. It grows well in full sun to light shade and tolerates soils containing anything from loam to sand to gravel. In the garden, the plant may need support as strong winds can knock it askew. Plants may also be pinched in early summer to decrease the overall height of the plant and encourage smaller and a greater number of blooms.  

Recently, Eupatorium was redefined taxonomically and Eupatorium fistulosum is now known as Eutrochium fistulosum. In the trade, however, joe-pye weed is still commonly referred to as Eupatorium.

Joe-pye weed is a popular addition to sites dealing with watershed management. It is extremely durable and performs many ecological services including erosion control and pollinator support.  

Eupatorium fistulosum Growing and Maintenance Tips

Moist or wet soil is preferred, although Joe Pye Weed is known to grow just about anywhere. Spreads by underground rhizomes. Eupatorium is most typically propagated by division but is just as easily transplanted. Division, as well as thinning should be done frequently to ensure vigorous growth and reduce spread. Cuttings may also be rooted. Eupatorium ssp. in general benefit from fertilization throughtout the growing season. Staking is also helpful for support. Cut back after winter's end. Hollow stems are good solitary bee nesting material - if possible, leave 6-18" of stem up for nesting bees. 

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun
Moist
Moist
Songbird-friendly
Songbird-friendly
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Pollinator-friendly
Pollinator-friendly
Cut Flower
Cut Flower
Summer
Summer

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Wet
Green Infrastructure
Bioretention/Rain Garden
Meadow/Prairie
Wetland Indicator Status
Falcutative Wetland (FACW)
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
For Animals
Caution: Toxic
Attributes
Native to North America
Clay Tolerance
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Summer
Fall
Propagation Type
Open pollinated