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Eupatorium maculatum

Common Name: Spotted Joe-Pye-Weed
Family: Asteraceae

Description: This perennial herb is named for its distinctive stem which is either purple or covered in purple spots. 
The leave appear on whorls of 4's and 5's. They are lance shape with a single main vein and toothed on the edges. The top is covered with short hairs and is rough to the touch. While the underside is covered more densely with hairs.
The light pink to purple flowers are found in a flat topped clump at the top of the plant. They appear between June and September.
They are black angled achene with long slender bristles at the top. They are 2-4 mm long.
Stem: The characteristic stem is deep purple or purple-spotted with short hairs which increase at the branches of the head.  
Branching Pattern:
 Leave arranged in a whorled pattern around the stem. 
Height: 2-7ft tall
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest: It requires moist soil to grow. It is found along stream banks and in open bogs, as well as wet thickets and meadows.
Known Wildlife Interactions:
The flowers are insect pollinated. While the seeds stay attached to the plant all winter and serve as an emergency food source for animals. It can also serve as a hiding place for small mammals when it grows in dense stands. 
Range: Found along southern Canada from Newfoundland to British Columbia. It is also found in the U.S. ranging from Washington and east to New York.
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide: Not threatened in the U.S. or globally.
Uses (Human): A tea made from the whole herb can be used to treat kidney discomfort.


Connecticut Wildflowers.  March 28, 2006.  Connecticut Botanical Society.  Accessed:  January 20, 2006. <>

Plants for a Future.  June 2004.  Accessed: March 28, 2006.  <>

The Pennsylvania Flora Project.  Botany Department, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania.  Accessed:  March 28, 2006. <>

Newcomb, Lawrence. Newcomb's Wildflower Guide. 1977. pg. 436

Peterson, Roger T., MicKenny, Margaret. Wildflowers: Northeast/ North-Central Amercia. Peterson Field Guides.1996. pg. 298

Redington, Charles B. Plants in Wetlands. Redington Field Guides.1994. pg. 214

Chadde, Steve W. A Great Lakes Wetland Flora. Pocketflora Press. 2002. pg.123

 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species <>

This page was created by: A. Coiro, Muhlenberg College
Photos by: L. Rosenberg, edited by N. Smith
Last updated 04/25/06