Joe Pye Weed - Eutrochium purpureum

Joe Pye Weed

Eutrochium purpureum

Quite surprisingly, as much as it rejects the idea of weed, it is a rare treat in the garden and quite generally seen along the roadsides. The plant banked this name after a famous herbalist Joe Pye who used to cure fevers with this herb.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: Gravel Root, Queen of the Meadow
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: No
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Rhizome & Root
  • Side Effects: None
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About Joe Pye Weed

Joe Pye weed deceives the idea of weed. It is an ornamental plant that comes from the family Asteraceae. Quite surprisingly, as much as it rejects the idea of weed, it is a rare treat in the garden and quite generally seen along the roadsides. The plant banked this name after a famous herbalist Joe Pye who used to cure fevers with this herb.

Joe Pye weed is a perennial plant that can grow about 5 to 8 feet tall. As much as its amazing height, Joe Pye weed is capable of growing underground too by sending out horizontal rhizomes. The aerial stem of Joe Pye is thick and erect, bearing long, wrinkled leaves. It possesses easily recognizable dusty pink flowers that help in identifying the plant.

With its beauty in use, Joe Pye weed has a powerful history due to its powerful uses. It was used by Joe Pye to treat typhoid fever in Massachusetts. Today, Joe pye weed is used as a diuretic, astringent, stimulant, tonic, and relaxant. It serves as a great remedy for the treatment of gall stones, chronic urinary tract infections, neuralgia, rheumatoid arthritis, bed-wetting, and dropsy. With an open field of medicinal uses at hand, it has earned quite a good load of other names too, including kidney root, gravel root, purple boneset, and trumpet weed.

Growing

Joe Pye weed can be started in spring or fall, both indoors and outdoors. It is a bit finicky about dry spells and hot climate. The plant requires an adequate amount of water supply and moisture, especially during hot and dry conditions. It can do well in any soil and tolerates most of the pH ranges.

As Joe Pye weed spreads a bit over-enthusiastically due to its remarkably deep rhizome system, the plant is usually encouraged to be confined to the pots or containers.

For both indoor and outdoor plants, it is advised to keep it in partial shade, or even if the sunny spot happens to be the only choice then a good amount of water supply is mandated for uninterrupted growth.

The seeds are slightly covered with soil only to germinate within a month or so. The seeds follow the ritual of giving out roots and shoots. Both radicals grow tremendously upon receiving favorable conditions.

The shoot soon promotes the growth of long leaves and eventually, there comes the time when the calendar shouts July and the flowering begins. The plant continues to produce dusty pink flowers that announce the carnival for bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects to carry out pollination in return for the glorious nectar.

Soon after the fertilization, the flowers mature into a seed heads which get dispersed via wind, animals, or other naturally occurring phenomena. This dispersal accounts for spreading the specie zealously to keep up with the circle of life.

Harvesting

The leaves and stems of Joe Pye are harvested just before the opening of the flower buds, usually during summers. The seeds, on the other hand, are harvested in late September. The flowers are harvested in full bloom and the roots are cut after every 2 years.

The flowers, leaves, roots, and stems of Joe pye weed are cut with gardening shears whereas the seed heads can be collected jerking the dried flower tops.

The aerial parts of Joe Pye weed can be dehydrated or air-dried in a well-ventilated room. The plant material is crumbled and stored in an airtight container to keep its vanilla-notes energetic

Usage

No matter how much that ‘w’ word tries to brutally obscure the goodness of Joe Pye weed, a handsome amount of scientific research has brought some novel uses of this plant on the face of this earth. Its medicinal preparations are fervently being used to seek protection from various fatal diseases.

  • Tincture - Infuse fresh or dried chopped Joe Pye leaves or roots in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea - Dried flowers and leaves are steeped in hot boiling water to form Joe Pye tea.
  • Decoction - Joe Pye root is decocted with water to form Joe Pye decoction.
  • Syrup - Dried leaves and flowers can be boiled with the sugar solution to form Joe Pye syrup.