All of the four Georgia species that we call Joe-Pye weed today belong to the genus Eutrochium (formerly Eupatorium). The two that you’re most likely to see blooming now are the hollow Joe-Pye weed and sweet Joe-Pye weed (flowers smell of vanilla). Pale Joe-Pye weed and spotted Joe-Pye weed (so-called because of its stem color) also are found in Georgia. They grow 3 to 8 feet tall; their large, eye-catching flowers range from deep pink to purplish pink and lure pollinators.
Another close cousin of Joe-Pye weed now blooming across Georgia is the white-flowered boneset, once said to be helpful in setting broken bones. The reason was that its peculiar-growing leaves appeared to grow right through the stem — a sign that the plant would fix broken bones. Leaves were wrapped around fractures in hopes that the patient would be cured. The remedy didn’t work, but the name stuck: boneset.
IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer: The moon will be new on Tuesday night and a thin crescent by Thursday night. Mercury is low in the east about an hour before sunrise. Venus is higher in the east and rises about three hours before sunrise. Mars rises in the east an hour before midnight. Jupiter and Saturn rise in the east just before sunset.