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Eupatorium purpureum - L.

Common Name Gravel Root
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 3-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Swampy and rich low ground and in woods, especially on calcareous soils[4, 21, 43].
Range Eastern N. America - New Hampshire to Minnesota, south to Florida and Oklahoma[187]..
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Eupatorium purpureum Gravel Root


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Llez
Eupatorium purpureum Gravel Root
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:LlezErysimum capitatum

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Purple, White. Main Bloom Time: Early fall, Late summer. Form: Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Eupatorium purpureum is a PERENNIAL growing to 2 m (6ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from August to October, and the seeds ripen from September to November. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Meadow;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Salt

The roots have been burnt and their ashes used as salt to flavour foods[257].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Astringent  Diuretic  Nervine  Tonic

Gravel root was used by the native N. American Indians as a diaphoretic to induce perspiration and break a fever. The plant was quickly adopted by the white settlers and still finds a use in modern herbalism[268]. The whole plant, but especially the root, is astringent, diuretic, nervine and tonic[4, 21, 165]. It works particularly on the genito-urinary system and the uterus[238]. Especially valuable as a diuretic and stimulant, as well as an astringent tonic[4], a tea made from the roots and leaves has been used to eliminate stones from the urinary tract, to treat urinary incontinence in children, cystitis, urethritis, impotence etc[222, 254, 268]. It is also said to be helpful in treating rheumatism and gout by increasing the removal of waste from the kidneys[254, 257]. The leaves and flowering stems are harvested in the summer before the buds open and are dried for later use. The roots are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[238].

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Other Uses

Dye  Straw

The stems have been used as straws[257]. The fruits yield a pink or red textile dye[268].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Massing, Specimen, Woodland garden. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil that is well-drained but moisture retentive in sun or part shade[200]. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn[233]. A very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -25°c[187]. The bruised leaves have a vanilla-like odour[213]. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233]. Butterflies are attracted to this plant[187]. Special Features:North American native, Fragrant foliage, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers.

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in spring or autumn[111]. Very easy, the clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Eupatorium cannabinumHemp AgrimonyPerennial1.5 4-8  LMHSNMWe03 
Eupatorium capillifoliumDogfennelPerennial3.0 3-10  LMHSNM010
Eupatorium chinense Perennial1.8 6-9  LMHSNM12 
Eupatorium compositifoliumYankeeweedPerennial0.0 0-0  LMHSNM01 
Eupatorium hyssopifoliumHyssopleaf thoroughwortPerennial0.6 4-8  LMHSNM01 
Eupatorium japonicumPei LanPerennial2.0 6-9  LMHSNM13 
Eupatorium lindleyanum Perennial1.0 6-9  LMHSNM02 
Eupatorium maculatumJoe Pye Weed, Spotted joe pye weedPerennial1.5 3-7 MLMHSNM02 
Eupatorium perfoliatumThoroughwort, Boneset, Common bonesetPerennial1.2 0-0  LMHSNM03 

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

43200

Links / References

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Readers comment

   Apr 23 2015 12:00AM

Alot of eupatorium species contain amabiline which is hepatoxic. Even tho E. purpureum and E. cannabinum ( the first contains less amabilin ) have hepaprotective effects , in dosages large enough have exhibit cytotoxicity and hepatoxicity. caution is advised.

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