Hollow Joe-Pye weed, Eutrochium fistulosum, 2023 Virginia Native Plant Society Wildflower of the Year.


Hollow Joe-pye-weed is a perennial herb that may grow as tall as 35 dm (about 11.5 feet). Stems are frequently purple and, when young, are covered with a thin, glaucous, layer of wax. Cross sections of stems will reveal the presence of hollow cavities in the central pith region. Leaves are whorled, 3-7 per node; leaf shape varies from narrowly to broadly elliptic or lanceolate or narrowly oblong, 2-6 cm wide and 12-25 cm long; leaves are tapered at both base and apex; leaf surfaces are wrinkled, finely hairy or hairless, and may be resin-dotted or not; leaf veins are pinnate. Flowers are small and clustered into cylindric heads consisting of 4-7 individual pink to purple flowers; basal bracts of the heads (phyllaries) are 6.5-9 mm long; numerous groups of flower-bearing heads arise from several uppermost stem nodes and form multiple corymbs that range from nearly globose to almost flat-topped. Individual flowers are of the “discoid” form found in the Daisy Family. Paired stigmas of individual flowers can often be seen extending above the heads, but other flower details are small and hidden by the phyllaries. Fruits are single-seeded achenes that disperse by wind, assisted by remnants of sepals at their apex—overall the pattern is reminiscent of the parachute-like fruits of the Common Dandelion.

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