Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum) Canadian Native Wildflower Herb
Height 4 to 7 ft
Entrochium perpureum, commonly referred to as Joe Pye Weed, is a North American genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. Genus name is derived from the Greek words 'eu' meaning well and 'troche' meaning wheel-like in reference to the whorled leaves.
Joe-Pye weeds are native perennial plants that prefer moist ground, wooded slopes, wet meadows, thickets and stream margins typically across the United States and Canada. Plants are erect, clump-forming perennials that typically grow 4 to 7 ft tall and bears coarsely-serrated, lance-shaped, dark green leaves (up to 12 in long) in whorls of 3 to 4 on sturdy green stems with purplish leaf nodes.
Large clusters of tubular flowers are tiny, dull pinkish-purple flowers in large, terminal, domed, compound inflorescences that are vanilla scented, and bloom in mid-summer to early fall. Each flower cluster typically has 5 to 7 florets. Flowers are quite decorative, are highly attractive to butterflies, and persist well into winter. Joe Pye Weed is an important native food source for wildlife. First, nectar-rich blooms attract a variety of bees and butterflies. The butterfly species that you can expect to see include skippers, fritillaries, and swallowtails.
- Start seeds indoors at least 5 weeks before outdoor night temperatures are reliably in the 10 C (50 F) range. Mix the seeds with a slightly moistened, sterile, and soil free growing mix. Place this in a labelled, sealed plastic bag and store in a refrigerator for one day. The next day place this in the freezer for one day. Repeat this process for 1 week, alternating between the fridge and the freezer. After stratifying, plant the seeds 0.32 cm (1/8 in) deep in pots. Keep the moist but not soggy and very warm (21 C - 70 F). When seedlings are 5 cm (2 in) tall or more, transplant into the garden
- Spacing: 30 cm (1 ft) apart.
- OR direct sow seeds 0.32 cm (1/8 in) deep in a prepared seedbed in late fall so that the seed overwinters and germinates naturally in spring. Alternatively, you can also
- plant seeds in pots and place these outdoors in an area where they will experience the snow and cold of winter. Seeds will germinate in the spring as the weather warms up. Be sure to water the pots regularly in spring and once the plants are 5 cm (2 in) tall, and then transplant into your garden.
- Germination: typically 4 weeks
- Seed heads can be collected in late September. Cut a seed head, place it upside down in a large, brown paper bag, and hang the bag in a well-ventilated room for the seeds to finish maturing and drop into the bag. Save and plant as above.
- Seed Count: 20