Bluestem Joe-pyeweed, gravelroot, green-stemmed Joe-pyeweed, hempweed, Indian gravelroot, Joe-pyeweed, jopiroot, jopiweed, kidneyroot, king-of-the-meadow, marsh milkweed, motherwort, niggerweed, purple boneset, purple thoroughwort, queen-of-the-meadow, quillwort, stinkweed, sweet Joe-pyeweed, tall boneset, trumpetweed.
This perennial grows to 3 to 10 feet in height. Leaves are in two’s and five’s, and in whorls to 1 foot long; they are coarsely toothed, and smell like vanilla. Stem is solid in cross-section and tinged with purple. Heads of flowers range from creamy white to purple-tinged.
July to September.
Rich, dry to moist, chiefly calcareous woods.
Rhizome in fall; leaves and flowering tops in summer and fall (Avoid coarse stems.)
This plant is used for urinary disorders. The roots and herb are diuretic, stimulant, tonic, and astringent. They were used by American Indians, who also used the fruit for red or pink dye.