Spotted Joe-Pye Weed

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Eutrochium maculatum, 1/2-pint plug

Exposure: Sun-partial

Soil: Wet-medium

Height: 5-6 feet

Blooms: July-September

Description: Joe Pye Weed is a very tall plant, up to 6' in the best sun/soil conditions, but strong stems support the flowering plant so it rarely needs to be staked. These attractive stems are almost the same color as the dusty rose-colored flowers, which will bloom for many weeks in July and August, becoming absolute magnets for dozens of species of butterflies. It is best planted in full to almost-full sun and rich, moist soils. It will spread so should not be planted in small landscape situations, but will excel in larger areas with lots of plant competition.

Attracts: The nectar of the flowers attracts honey bees, bumblebees, long-horned bees (Melissodes spp.), leaf-cutting bees (Megachile spp.), bee flies, butterflies, skippers, and moths. Some bees may also collect pollen. The following leaf beetles have been observed to feed on Spotted Joe-Pye Weed: Exema dispar, Ophraella notata, and Sumitrosis inaequalis. An uncommon aphid, Aphis vernoniae, sucks the plant juices. The caterpillars of some moth species feed on various parts of Eutrochium spp. (Joe-Pye Weed species). They include Schinia trifascia (Three-Lined Flower Moth; feeds on florets), Carmenta bassiformis (Eupatorium Borer Moth; bores through roots), Phragmatobia fuliginosa (Ruby Tiger Moth; feeds on foliage), and Eupithecia miserulata (Common Pug; feeds on florets). The seeds of Joe-Pye Weed species are a minor source of food to the Swamp Sparrow.