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Eutrochium fistulosum

Common Name(s):
Joe Pye Weed
Herbs, Native Plants, Perennials, Wildflowers

Eutrochium fistulosum, commonly called hollow Joe Pye weed, is a tall native perennial which uncommonly occurs in low moist ground, wet meadows, wet thickets, and stream margins. It is an erect, clump-forming perennial which typically grows 4-7' tall.

Synonym Eupatorium fistulosum. 

Hollow Joe Pye weed is similar in appearance to both spotted Joe Pye weed (E. maculatum) and sweet Joe Pye weed (E. purpureum, but is primarily distinguished by its larger leaf whorls and hollow stems which usually lack spotting.

Many people perceive Joe Pye weed to be nothing more than a roadside weed and have never seriously considered its outstanding ornamental attributes. It is a substantial plant which needs space, but when planted in groups or massed can provide spectacular flowering and architectural height. Border rears, cottage gardens, meadows, native plant gardens, wild/naturalized areas or water margins. 

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plains

Seasons of Interest: 

  Leaf:  Fall                   Blooms:  Late summer/fall            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Fall

Wildlife Value:   This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.  Flowers are attractive to butterflies, especially smaller species, and other pollinators.  Songbirds eat the seeds. 

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Leaves may scorch if soils are allowed to dry out.

Compare this Plant to:  Eutrochium dubium

Summer, fall
Sun, part shade
Flower Color:
Pink (rose)
USDA Hardiness Zone 4 to 8
Joe-Pye weed features coarsely-serrated, lance-shaped, dark green leaves (to 12" long) in whorls of 4-7 (frequently 6) on sturdy green stems which are hollow.
Joe-Pye weed has tiny, vanilla-scented, dull pinkish-purple flowers in large, terminal, domed, compound inflorescenses (12-18" diameter) that bloom in mid-summer to early fall. Flowers are very attractive to butterflies. The flowers give way to attractive seed heads which persist well into winter.
Herbaceous perennial
Joe-Pye Weed is easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Plants prefer moist, fertile, humus-rich soils which do not dry out. Does best in full sun. Tall stemmed plants are more likely to need support in part shade locations. Cut plants to the ground in late winter.
Full sun to partial shade
Life Cycle:
seed, nectar, dried flower, cut flower, birds, herb, wildflower, perennial, wildlife, host, songbirds, butterflies

NCCES plant id: 2857

Joe Pye Weed Joe Pye Weed
Kerry Woods, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Joe Pye Weed Joe Pye Weed
Fritz Flohr Renolds, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Joe Pye Weed Joe Pye Weed
James Gaither, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0