Perennial to Zone 4. Formerly Eupatorium maculatum. Also known as Queen of the Meadow or Gravel Root. Stately, tall and beautiful, with dense florets of dusty pinkish-purple flowers held on strong stems that rarely need staking. At 5–9' tall, makes an impressive background plant or summer hedge and a good cutflower. Blooms for many weeks through July and August, attracting flocks of butterflies. Medicinally, a tea made from the whole herb is diuretic, used in the treatment of kidney complaints. The leaves and stems can be harvested and dried before the flower buds open. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of fevers, colds, kidney and liver complaints, and rheumatism. It is said to have a tonic effect during pregnancy and may also induce sweating. Externally, a decoction of the roots is used as a wash on rheumatic joints.
Does best in moist well-drained areas, full sun or part shade. Surface sow in spring or fall; needs stratification unless sown in fall; takes 3 weeks to germinate; direct seed or transplant. About 2,800 seeds/g. Especially attractive to pollinators. ②