Plants have way better names that birds. Sometimes you have to dig deep to figure out how they got the name in the first place. The names of a lot of plants evolved years ago and it’s hard to know for sure where they came from.
So, who was Joe Pye? And, why did they name a weed after him?
A deep and thorough research (Bing) reveals two competing theories. One is that there was a guy named Joe Pye who was a medicine man in the 1700’s who traveled around Massachusetts and used this plant to cure an outbreak of typhoid. The other is that it is a derivative of the Indian word for typhoid – jopi.
The truth may be somewhere in the middle.