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collage of Sweetscented Joe Pye Weed and Spotted Joe Pye Weed

Sweetscented Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum) vs. Spotted Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium maculatum)

Updated April 23rd, 2021

These two species are occasionally confused where their ranges overlap in the northeast and Midwest. They are usually easily distinguished by their stems, inflorescence shape, and number of florets per head. They also have average differences in bloom color, leaf texture, and number of leaves per whorl, but these characteristics have more variability and overlap. E. purpureum prefers drier, shadier habitats, whereas E. maculatum is usually found in sunnier wetlands. The two species can hybridize, so it may not be possible to identify all individuals.

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