• synonyms

joe-pye weed

  1. Also called purple boneset. a tall composite weed, Eupatorium purpureum, of North America, having clusters of pinkish or purple flowers.
  2. Also called spotted joe-pye weed. a related plant, E. maculatum, having similar flowers and stems that are often spotted with purple.
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Origin of joe-pye weed

An Americanism dating back to 1810–20; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for joe-pye weed

Historical Examples of joe-pye weed

  • Look at the seeds of the boneset, joe-pye-weed, milkweed, and goldenrod!

    The Fall of the Year

    Dallas Lore Sharp

  • "Ah, Joe-Pye-Weed has arrived," she exclaimed joyfully over the handsome blossom.

    Ethel Morton's Enterprise

    Mabell S.C. Smith

  • If I want a clump of something tall, Joe-pye-weed is not to be disdained.

British Dictionary definitions for joe-pye weed

joe-pye weed

  1. US and Canadian any of several North American plants of the genus Eupatorium, esp E. purpureum, having pale purplish clusters of flower heads lacking rays: family Asteraceae (composites)
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Word Origin for joe-pye weed

C19: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for joe-pye weed


1818, said to be so called from the name of an Indian who used it to cure typhus in New England.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper