Gravel Root/Joe Pye Weed - In the Wild - September

Plant Magic: A Year of Green Wisdom for Pagans & Wiccans - Sandra Kynes 2017

Gravel Root/Joe Pye Weed
In the Wild

Sweet Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)

*Also known as gravelweed, jopi, purple boneset, meadowsweet, and queen of the meadow

Gravel root can reach five to seven feet tall and spread two to four feet wide. Its green, purple-tinged leaves are lance-shaped and coarsely serrated. They grow in whorls along the stem. Tiny pinkish-purple flowers grow in dome-shaped clusters and bloom from July to September. Seed heads stay on the plant into winter. The stems and flowers have a vanilla-like scent.

While there are many versions of the story about Joe Pye, the only consensus is that he was a medicine man in Colonial New England, and was said to have aided English settlers with Native American remedies from this plant. The name gravel root comes from its use for removing stones from the urinary tract. Gravel root is different from another plant called meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), which is also known as queen of the meadow. That plant is covered in “June.”

Carry a piece of dried root to bring luck and success. Make a sachet with leaves and flowers to include in your bath before a job interview or important meeting. Burn a small piece of dried root to dispel negative energy. Fresh flowers enhance visualizations and aid in making contact with the spirit realm as well as spirit guides.

Gravel root is associated with the element water.