joe-pye weed

joe-pye weed (jō-pĪˈ) [key], name for a tall North American plant ( Eupatorium purpureum ) of the family Asteraceae (aster family), having small, usually pinkish-purple blossoms in large terminal clusters. The name comes from that of a Native American who reputedly effected many cures with the herb. An infusion of the leaves and roots was formerly, and is sometimes yet, employed as a diuretic and an astringent, among other things. It is also called gravelroot, trumpetweed, and purple boneset or thoroughwort. Two related species, E. maculatum and verticillatum, are also called joe-pye weed. Joe-pye weed is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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