We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Eupatorium?

By N. Phipps
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Eupatorium species consist of both white and purple-flowering plants. These tall perennial herbs are commonly found throughout the Central and Eastern United States. While most varieties grow naturally in moist fields, woodland edges, or along streams and ponds, some of these plants can be grown in the garden as focal points or for ornamental purposes. In fact, their attractive blooms make interesting additions to mixed borders or natural gardens.

When growing Eupatorium as ornamental plants, you should set them up with full sun to partial shade. They also need moist soil that has been enriched with organic matter. The plants in this genus are easily propagated in the spring. This is generally accomplished by seed or through division of their root clumps.

While there are a number of different Eupatorium species within this group, the most popular include E. maculatum and E. perfoliatum. The first one is a purple-flowering species more commonly known as Joe Pye weed. The clustered flowerheads of this species vary in color from pinkish-purple to purplish mauve. These blooms are lightly scented and the foliage even emits a vanilla aroma when crushed.

The other species is known by various names that include boneset and thoroughwort. This white-flowering Eupatorium also has lightly scented blooms. The foliage is rather interesting, having perfoliate leaves. This simply refers to the way in which the stem seems to pierce through the leaf. The name thoroughwort — a derivative of through — may have originated from this odd growth characteristic.

Butterflies find all these plant species attractive. However, it’s their medicinal history which has made the Eupatorium group most notable. Native Americans have long since used these plants medicinally to treat numerous ailments. For instance, various types, such as Joe Pye, were used to treat fevers, especially typhus. In fact, that is how this particular species got its name. Joe Pye was thought to be the first one to use the plant for this purpose.

In addition to treating fevers, the tea made from Eupatorium leaves was used as a remedy for anything from influenza and diarrhea to kidney ailments, intestinal worms, and rheumatism. The boneset species was also used to treat broken bones. While all herbal remedies should be taken and used with caution, this is especially true of these plants, as they are considered toxic. In fact, side effects from the use of these plants include muscle tremors and weakness, and in severe cases or overdose, death may result.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.