Eupatorium purpureum

This North American species of hemp agrimony is taller and grander than the British native, E. cannabinum, rising to 8 feet (2.4 m) in height, with whorls of narrow leaves all the way up the purple stems, which are topped with huge sprays of purplish-pink flowers in late summer and early autumn. William Robinson called it ‘a fine plant for the rougher pails of a garden’, and it is best by the waterside: it can be seen in full splendour by the moat at Scotney Castle, in Kent, with meadowsweet and rushes, and water-lilies in the water. It can also be grown at the back of a moist border, where it may need a mulch of peat, but it is invasive and would need firm control.

Plant E. purpureum 3 feet (90 cm) apart in rich soil, preferably without lime.

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