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John Poe Weed

John Poe Weed

See it in on the herbaceous borders

Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum) is an herbaceous perennial, native to North America that grows readily in open spots in most soils, avoiding dry conditions, and forms clumps of tall sturdy plants that can grow up to two metres tall.  

Joe Pye Weed is named after a Native American herbalist named Joe Pye, who is said to have used the herb to lower fevers and as a cure for typhus in the 1800's.  In the wild it can be found in pastureland and at the edges of woodlands and streams, where it forms dense colonies.  

Despite its common name, there is nothing weedy about Eupatorium purpureum, which has brilliant characteristics from the moment its structural purple tinged stems emerge from the ground in April. From August the flowers start to open, the clumps become a mass of colour and an irresistible attraction for bees and butterflies. After flowering, it remains stately and imposing and has good seed heads throughout the winter, meaning it just needs cutting down in early spring before it starts again.

An invaluable plant, if you have space.  If this one is too tall you could also try another variety we grow in the gardens - 'Purple Bush', which has similar characteristics but only grows to 1.5 metres.


Back to our favourite August plants