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
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favourite August plants