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harvesting joe pye weed seeds

In natural medicine, you can use Joe Pye Weed in a number of different ways. The roots are considered especially beneficial and are gathered to be dried, ground and brewed as an herbal tea tonic.

All types bear purple, mauve or pink flowers producing copious joe pye weed seeds strewn by the wind. The stems seem sturdy and deep purple or purple flecked. In addition, the foliage generally appears dark green with varying degrees of saw-toothed edging.

Eupatorium purpureum is especially recommended for those wishing to attract and support Monarch butterflies. Other butterflies, especially those that gets attracted to Joe Pye Weed flowers include black swallowtails and Tiger swallowtails.

Is It Really a Weed?

Also, this plant provides an excellent backdrop for a perennial garden consisting of shorter types of self seeding annuals and/or a bulb garden.

If you love the idea of a perennial garden coming back year after year with little or no attention from you, Joe Pye should definitely make it at the top of your plant list.

Joe Pye weed leaves look quite narrow at the base and widen dramatically toward the center. The stem bears small purple spots, and the flowers show a dusty pink color.

In this article, we will describe the various types of Joe Pye Weed and provide advice for making good use of it in your yard and garden. Read on to learn more.

Although the flower heads seem fairly dry, they still need to be dried a few days by spreading them out on a tarp. Once dry, the seeds must be cleaned before using. It is fairly easy to clean the seeds. Just put the flower heads on top of a piece of fairly course screening (available from a hardware store) and scrape them back and forth. The seeds fall through, and the empty stems can be thrown away. Store the seeds in a dry place in a grocery bag until time to plant.

Yesterday I spent an hour or so collecting woodland Joe Pye weed ( Eupatorium purpureum ). This species is relatively similar to the wetland Joe Pye weed ( E. maculatum ), but less colorful and better adapted to woodland areas. It is a strikingly tall species that has become established in those parts of our savannas which have more closed canopy (50% or even a bit more).

The best stands of E. purpureum are north of our North Fire Break, just before the steep drop off into the oak woodland. I used the Kawasaki Mule to get in there, and it was an enjoyable day, quiet and peaceful. I got two buckets full of seed heads.

While I was seed collecting, I was also keeping my eye out for small buckthorn that needed spritzing or basal barking. Fortunately, the buckthorns were fairly scattered here, and I proably only treated a couple dozen plants. I carried a spray bottle in my belt pack. We’ll be back in this area in the winter for more extensive buckthorn work. Hopefully, this will be a low snow year so that we can get some work done!