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collage of Coastal Plain Joe Pye Weed and Sweetscented Joe Pye Weed

Coastal Plain Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium dubium) vs. Sweetscented Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)

Updated June 16th, 2022

These plants are occasionally confused in the region where their ranges overlap; both tend to have 3-4 leaves per whorl. They are usually easily distinguished by leaf vein pattern, and the color and density of the inflorescence can also provide ID clues. Populations in the north can be easily distinguished by stems. E. purpureum averages taller than E. dubium, but their heights overlap. However, their habitats are almost entirely non-overlapping, with E. dubium preferring acidic, wet ground in sunnier conditions, and E. purpureum preferring drier, shadier habitats.

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