Eutrochium purpureum

Sweet Scented Joe Pye Weed, Eutrochium purpureum often referred to as Big Umbrella is a robust summer blooming perennial that is highly attractive to butterflies, native bees and birds. Produces large flower clusters atop 5 or 6 foot tall plants which contain hundreds of tiny pink flowers. It exudes a scent of vanilla, hence it’s “Sweet-scented” name. While naturally adapted to moist soils, it is quite adaptable to dry garden sites as well.

Eutrochium is derived from two Greek words. Eu means “well.” Troche means “wheel-like” and refers to the plant’s whorled leaves. Wikipedia reports that “a peer-reviewed study suggests that Joe Pye of plant fame was a Mohican sachem named Schauquethqueat who lived in the mission town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts from 1740 to 1785 and who took as his Christian name, Joseph Pye. Sources (although without citation) claim the plant was used to treat typhus outbreaks and for the treatment of kidney stones and other urinary tract ailments.”

SPECS: Native Name: Algonquin; Genus: Eutrochium; Species: Purpureum; Plant Type: Forb, Wildflower; Life Cycle: Perennial; Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun; Soil Moisture: Wet, Medium Wet; Height: 5′ — 7′; Spread: 2′; Plant Spacing: 3′ — 4′; Bloom Time: July — September; Bloom Color: Pink, Purple; Advantages: Birds, Low maintenance; USDA Zone: 4 — 8; Attracts: Beneficial insects, Bumblebees, Songbirds; Tolerant: Clay, Wet soils; Plant Community: ‘Big Umbrella’ sweet-scented Joe-pye weed combines nicely with grasses such as little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and broomsedge bluestem (Andropogon virginicus) as well as perennials such as (Vernonia noveboracensis), black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida), cutleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata), tall tickseed (Coreopsis tripteris), swamp sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius), and sweet goldenrod (Solidago odora). Formerly known as Eupatorium purpureum ‘Big Umbrella’.;