Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Queen Of The Meadow

My life in appalachia - Queen Of The Meadow
Eupatoriadelphus-fistulosus better known as Queen of the Meadow is in full bloom along the roadsides and banks where I live. It’s a towering wildflower-with light pinkish blooms.

The bees and bugs are having a hay day with the ones growing along the edge of our backyard. As I walk by on the way to the clothesline it seems I hear them buzzing to each other-“This is the last hurrah of summer-suck up all you can. Old Man Winter is soon coming.”

I’ve never understood the common name for the flower. Maybe it’s called Queen of the Meadow because it towers over most of the other plants (subjects).

When I look around and see so many of them-I think how could they all be queens? To me they seem more like tall skinny old biddies. Each one bragging that they are the real Queen of the Meadow and they alone know the secret of impending winter. The irony of course being-they are each in a meadow full of queens-and every growing thing which surrounds them is telling their secret of the last of summer and the coming death of winter.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.



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  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    August 31, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Tipper, Dave Tabler has a good post on Queen of the Meadow posted 20 Aug 2010. Google Queen of the Meadow then go to Appalachain History>>Ouean of the Meadow cures all.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 31, 2011 at 11:54 am

    The golden rod is yellow
    the leaves are falling down the trees in the apple orchard
    with fruit are hanging down.
    Tipper that is the extent of my knowledge of fall flowers in the mountains. LOL

  • Reply
    August 31, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Charlotte-that sounds like Ironweed. Go here to see if it is:

  • Reply
    August 31, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I loke your “old biddies” description.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    August 31, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Definitly different diseases,
    thank you Bill for the “edit correction”. I should have said fevers. I too found many references to Thyphus…He traveled treating fevers with Joe Pye, especially Typhus, and one reference in particular did mention the fever of Thyphoid too, also the name “jopi” was the native tongue for Thyphoid…so that is what stuck in my head..Thanks Bill.
    Would you know the origin of the Queen of the Meadow nickname?
    Thanks Tipper, Loved this wildflower lesson…Now then, do you have the noxious, nose itching, eyewatering, Goldenrod and Ragweeds blooming yet? I’ve got to stock up on allergy meds..ha

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    August 30, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    I like Queen of the Meadow much better than Joe Pye! And I agree with Jim Casada- purple Ironweed is much prettier. Doesn’t summer go out beautifully?

  • Reply
    August 30, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    I don’t remember seeing that in the woods around here.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    ‘…tall skinny biddies…’ Lol, you cracked me up…

  • Reply
    August 30, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    I’m not sure about this plant, but it surely must grow around here. I’ll be on the look-out for it this fall. We have a tall weed with purple flowers I’d like to identify; does joe pie come in purple? 🙂

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    August 30, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Tipper–Surely, surely you’ve heard this called Joe Pye weed rather than Queen of the Meadow? Tell me it’s so. It is sho’ ’nuff a thing of beauty, but another plant, often found side by side with Joe Pye, is more attractive to my eye (got to watch it there, or I’ll be straying into Don’s poetic flights of fancy). That’s ironweed. Its blooms are flashier, a deep purple, and if anything even more appealing to butterflies.
    For me, Joe Pye weed in bloom is a sure harbinger of coming fall, right there with cardinal flowers and goldenrod, along with the smell of autumn in the air (and I can’t describe that, but I can sure smell it).
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    August 30, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I know what you mean, the queens have me surrounded. You are so full of history and it is helpful to a lot of people. It’s no wonder you have so many followers..

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph.D.
    August 30, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Tipper: I done did away with my JOE PYE WEED as it simply tried to ‘take over’ in my garden!
    The fellow BB who mentioned Joe Pye Weed selling for a ‘good price’ reminds me of my purchase of a plant a few years ago in Nashville. I ACTUALLY bought a beautifully trimmed pot of VIRGINIA CREEPER! My dear neighbor, George, has not let me forget it! His edge of the forest is COVERED in Virginia Creeper! Oh well! Every once in awhile mountain folks make foolish choices as to how to TURN their money loose!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Toni Hodges
    August 30, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Thank you so much for the article this morning on Queen of the Meadow it was new to me, was in the mid 50’s here this morning and what a relief. Looking forward to fall and cool weather. Seems the purple cone flower is the only thing still able to endure the heat. Leaves starting to gently fall from some of our trees.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I’m not as knowledgeable about all
    these wildflowers as you, or Don
    Casada, but I have bunches of these on my home place too. I just
    didn’t know what to call them.
    After reading about ground cherries on one of your recent posts, I told my neighbor. Last
    evening he called to tell me he
    was eating ground cherries right
    out of his garden…Ken

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    August 30, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Joe Pye, Joe Pye,
    Your head’s held up high.
    With roots in the meadow,
    You aim for the sky.
    Oh, the butterflies flitter,
    They flutter and land,
    But their love is as fleeting,
    As hourglass sand.
    Joe Pye, Joe Pye
    We’re friends – he and I.
    We’re born of a summer
    But bloom toward the fall.
    When cold winter comes,
    We may shrivel and die,
    But we’ll live once again –
    Old Joe Pye and I.

  • Reply
    Wayne Newton
    August 30, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Tipper, across the pasture Ole Peter Young is showing the first tinge of tan on the north facing slope, and the small poplars are losing their green, giving way to orange, yellow, and brown.
    My patch of wildflowers is all dried up now; the locust trees and black walnuts are slowly turning loose of their leaves, maples won’t be far behind..
    57° here at 7 a.m.
    I’m still getting tomatoes and eggplant; the Moonflower is doing its thing; dozens (too many to count) of 5 inch flowers open every evening.
    Even with the high temps, the raised garden flourished, tho I did water daily.
    We are at 2200 ft here, and I feel a change comin’ on.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2011 at 10:29 am

    “The bees and bugs are having a hay day”
    A turn of phrase I have never heard but one that left no doubt in my mind what you were seeing.
    Thanks for opening my eyes to the view Tipper.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those wildflowers but, I always loved the ones that grew wild best.

  • Reply
    Rick Kratzke
    August 30, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I really wonder how they come up with some of these names for some of these flower and plants and bushes.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    August 30, 2011 at 10:04 am

    “Joe Pye” was supposed to have cured Typhus not Typhoid, these are unrelated diseases. Typhus is caused by Rickettsiae Bacteria. Many people call JoePye Weed “Butterfly Weed” and many natural gardeners plant JoePye for this attraction for Butterflys. In fact I found one site where they sell the live plants for $5.95 each. Being a “Son of Applachia” and seeing the plant growing wild everywere I wonder if this is the same hand who sells skipping rocks.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2011 at 9:57 am

    We have always called it Joe-Pye weed, but I have heard it called Queen of the Meadow. One year, I decided that I was going to gather some to make dye for wool. The color was a pretty tannish-gray color. Not what I was hoping for since I had read that Native America used it to produce a pink/red color!
    I have always been impressed with the height of the plant, bobbing around in cool, fall breezes.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    August 30, 2011 at 9:12 am

    We have a lot of them over here in Franklin as well. I had to laugh about your “old biddies” comment…haven’t heard that one in a while…

  • Reply
    August 30, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Oh my, Tipper, you seemed to describe my state of mind the last few days. The sweltering 90 some degree weather has left our mountain area and replacing it is the welcome feel of cooler weather. Although I love fall, I can’t stand to think what follows. The first tease of fall pushes me into a deep funk until I get readjusted.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I’ve always loved the tall beautiful Joe-Pye weed. I think I like the name Queen of the meadow better. It fits this tall beauty so much more! Hope you’re having a good week. did you get the email with the photo?

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    August 30, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Queen of the Meadow and Joe Pye both common names me thinks?
    I’m back…can’t help it…The trivial nickname that
    I knew as Joe Pye Weed was supposed to be named for a native Indian healer..and I refreshed my aging memory with my books..Joe Pye being a corruption of the word jopi which is native for Typhoid, which this New England Indian healer was supposed to have used to heal typhoid..other sources say his name was Joe Pye?
    Now then, I cannot find the source for the other common name..”Queen of the Meadow” which this plant is also called..Do you know? I would love to know its origin as well…
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    August 30, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Bev-I’ve heard it called by both names-but in my family it was always Queen of the Meadow : ) Come back and tell us what your book says about it!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    August 30, 2011 at 7:39 am

    I have always called this plant Joe Pye Weed…!
    Then I looked up Queen of the Meadow and this plant is called by both names…
    I wonder how can that be…?
    A Queen and a common name like Joe Pye Weed…
    I wonder if NC refers to Queen of the Meadow and TN refers it to Joe Pye Weed?
    I’m off to my Wildflower Books..
    Wonderful post as usual,
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    August 30, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Looking out at a red, red sunrise here this morning, I suppose we will have rain before dark. We need some. Thanks for starting my morning with a good note Tipper. I will be out looking forthese as I go to check on the garden and such today.

  • Reply
    Sharon Queen Zapka
    August 30, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Stumbling onto your site has made my morning fantastic! What a lucky day this is starting out to be. I have many relatives buried in the Hazel Creek Proctor cementery. My mother lived there as a child. Her family was displaced by the building of Fontana Dam. I have been fortunate enough to visit the cementery and the Calhoun place. Thank you so much for your thoughts and efforts to keep this history alive.

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