Spotted joe pye weed (Eupatorium maculatum, Asteraceae) is found in wet areas primarily in the northern United States and southern Canada (Brandenburg 2010). A few weeks ago I came across this individual on the banks of the Presque Isle River at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
These asters are identified by their clusters of pink-purple flowers and sharply-toothed, lanceolate leaves in whorls of four or five (Brandenburg 2010). The stems also exhibit a range of purple coloration, from spots to the complete purple color seen here.
There’s a bit of disagreement on what genus this plant belongs in. Traditionally it seems to be included in Eupatorium (bonesets), but the flower color and leaf arrangement have lead some experts to place it in Eutrochium or Eupatoriadelphus.
Brandenburg, D.M. 2010. National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Wildflowers of North America. Andrew Stewart Publishing, Inc., New York, NY.