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Eupatorium fistulosum – Joe Pye Plant

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This variety of Joe Pye weed is more commonly known as the Hollow Joe Pye plant. The lore surrounding the common name is unclear, but the most popular story is that a Native American medicine man used the plant to create medicinal remedies, specifica

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Eupatorium fistulosum – Joe Pye Plant 

This variety of Joe Pye weed is more commonly known as the Hollow Joe Pye plant. The lore surrounding the common name is unclear, but the most famous story is that a Native American medicine man used the plant to create medicinal remedies, specifically for typhus, and thus the plant was named for him.
Depending on the conditions, Hollow Joe Pye called range from 3 feet to 9 feet tall. The central stem is dark- to light-purple and is hollow. Whorls of leaves form along the central stem, spaced 4 to 6 inches apart and each coil containing 5 to 7 sheets that are 9 inches long and 3 inches wide. The dark green leaves have a deep crease in the center. The central stem terminates in a large flower panicle surrounded by smaller stems topped with 5 to 7 smaller flower panicles. The panicles themselves are domed-shaped and contain multiple small florets. The florets come in varying shades of pink and purple, blooming in mid-summer to early fall and lasting for approximately one month. After flowering, the florets produce a small, dry seed with hair-like bristles, called achenes, that facilitate wind-driven propagation.
Eupatorium fistulosum is native to eastern Canada and east and central United States, USDA Hardiness Zone 5 to 9. It is not widely found throughout these regions but tends to gather in pockets of geographic locations. Hollow Joe Pye prefers moist to wet soil and can tolerate gravel or sandy soils if there is sufficient and consistent moisture. The plant thrives in full to partial sun and, due to the height, it can be susceptible to strong winds, which can topple it. The most common habitats are wet sand springs, low-lying along roadsides and railroad tracks, as well as ravines. In these areas, the fibrous root system can produce rhizomes and create clonal masses of the specimen.

 

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