Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Taxonomy
Eupatorium spp.
ASTERACEAE (Composite Family)
EtymologyEupatorium is named for Mithridates Eupator (132-63 B.C.E), king of Pontus, who isupposedly discovered antidote to the poison in one of the plants of this genus.
Synonyms (Common Name)Gravel-root, Indian Gravel, Kidney Root, Thoroughwort, Purple Boneset; Spotted Joe Pye-weed
DescriptionTall (to 6+'), perennial herbs that form small to medium colonies in wet meadows or pond and stream margins, Joe Pye-weeds bloom all summer, their rose-purple flowers in flat-topped clusters at the top of a stout stem. Wetland species native to New England include: E. dubium Willd., E. fistulosum Barratt., and vE. maculatumL.
Wetland indicator statusFACW
Plant Height2-6 feet
LeavesIn whorls of 3's to 7's, entire, toothed, to 8" long; lanceolate to ovate to elliptical, tapered at base and tip.
Flower/InflorescenceRose-purple to purple, tiny (1/4"), fuzzy tufts; 5-22 flowers in dense, flat-topped clusters to 10" long at the top of the stem and the tips of the branches.
Flowering PeriodJuly-September
FruitAchene, tiny, angular, tipped with fine bristles.
HabitatWet meadows, marshes, margins of ponds and streams; moist places.
RangeE. maculatum: Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to North Carolina, Nebraska, and New Mexico. E. fistulosum: southern Maine to Iowa, south to Florida and Texas. E. dubium is an eastern, coastal species that ranges from Nova Scotia, southern Maine, and New Hampshire to South Carolina.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett