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Eupatoriadelphus maculatus var. maculatus (Spotted trumpetweed)
Bloodworth, Stefan

Eutrochium maculatum var. maculatum

Eutrochium maculatum (L.) E.E. Lamont var. maculatum

Spotted Trumpetweed, Spotted Joe-pye-weed

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Eupatoriadelphus maculatus var. maculatus, Eupatorium maculatum var. maculatum


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

Atop a sturdy purple or purple-spotted stem, hairy above, is a large pinkish-purplish, flat-topped cluster of fuzzy flower heads. Spotted Joe-pye-weed can grow from 2-7 ft. or taller in soils that are moist through the season. Narrow, lance-shaped leaves, up to 10 in. long, are whorled along the purple spotted stem. The huge, domed flower head is composed of several branches bearing tiny, pinkish-lavender florets.

This is one of several similar species found in the East. Sweet Joe-pye-weed (Eutrochium purpureum) has a greenish stem, a dome-shaped cluster of dull pink flower heads, and foliage that smells like vanilla when crushed. Hollow Joe-pye-weed (Eutrochium fistulosum) has a hollow stem, and Eupatoriadelphus dubius is a smaller species with ovate leaves. Folklore tells that a Native American named Joe Pye used this plant to cure fevers and that the early American colonists used it to treat an outbreak of typhus.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 7 feet tall.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Purple
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AZ , CO , CT , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , PA , RI , SD , TN , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: BC , MB , NB , NS , PE , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Nf. to s.c. MT, s. to MD, NC mts., KY, LA, KS, NM & UT
Native Habitat: Swamps & marshes; meadows; moist woodlands; stream banks

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Moist or wet, calcareous soils.
Conditions Comments: Tall and bushy with whorled leaves and purple-spotted stems. (Ontario Native Plants 2002)


Use Wildlife: An important source of honey, attracting pollinators by the score.
Use Medicinal: Folklore tells that an Indian, Joe Pye,"" used this plant to cure fevers and that the early American colonists used it to treat an outbreak of typhus. (Niering)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Sow seeds in the fall and plant thickly as germination is usually low. Propagation is also possible by "softwood" cuttings taken in late spring or by division. Divide the plants in fall as they go dormant, or in the spring just as shoots first appear.
Seed Collection: The nutlets mature to shiny black 4-5 weeks after the flower has faded. Only a small percentage viable; these will be plump and swollen. To collect, either take the entire top of the plant or shake it into a paper bag. Seeds can be allowed to dry out before sowing and do not have to be perfectly cleaned. Store in a sealed refrigerated container.
Seed Treatment: This species requires or benefits from a three month period of cold-moist stratification.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, The - Valhalla, NY
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Eupatoriadelphus maculatus var. maculatus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Eupatoriadelphus maculatus var. maculatus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Eupatoriadelphus maculatus var. maculatus


Record Modified: 2022-12-27
Research By: TWC Staff

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