Eutrochium purpureum (Sweet Scented Joe Pye Weed)
|Also known as:||Sweet Joe-Pye Weed|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; open woods, woodland edges, thickets, wet meadows, ravines|
|Bloom season:||July - September|
|Plant height:||4 to 6 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FAC MW: FAC NCNE: FAC|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Loose branching rounded clusters made up of dozens to hundreds of very pale pink to purplish flower heads. A head is made up of about 6 petal-less disk flowers, each with 2 long stringy styles and 5 tiny lobes. The bracts are green to purplish and in 2 layers, the outer ones usually hairy.
Leaves and stems:
Very similar species is Spotted Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium maculatum), which has solid purple or purple spotted stems, usually a flatter flower cluster and a preference for full sun, where Sweet Scented Joe Pye Weed prefers part shade. Sweet Scented Joe Pye Weed often goes by Latin name Eupatorium purpureum but the accepted name in Minnesota is Eutrochium purpureum. There are 2 varieties in Minnesota, var. purpureum is mostly hairless on the underside of the leaf except along the veins; var. holzingeri is densely hairy on the underside surface.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Battle Creek and Lilydale Parks, St. Paul. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken at Lilydale Regional Park, St. Paul
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?