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Setting up a wildlife garden

Plants for butterflies

Plants for bees

Plants for hummingbirds

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Eutrochium sp.(Joe pye weeds)
Joe Pye Weed

Zone: 4 to 8

Soil: sand to clay

Light: Full sun to part sun

Bloom colour: Pink

Bloom period: August

Height: 5 to 10 feet

Moisture:Usually medium to moist

Attracts: A variety of bees and butterflies.

Notes: Joe-Pye Weeds used to be included in the genus Eupatorium with the bonesets, but now they have been separated out into the much smaller genus Eutrochium. You will still see them commonly referred to as Eupatorium and they may also be called Eupatoriadelphus.

These plants are only in flower for a few weeks, during which time, they put on quite a show and become quite popular with a lot of insects. They are especially popular with bumblebees, green metallic sweat bees, skippers and monarch butterflies. In full sun, plant Eutrochium maculatum, which has flatter flowerheads than E. purpureum and often has leaves in pairs. The latter species is more shade tolerant and resents full sun. It is typical of its genus in having whorled leaves. While E. maculatum is typically found in wetter habitats than E. purpureum, both plants will do well in a regular garden.

The individual flowerheads are not very attractive, but a mass of pink flowerheads of this plant can be eye-catching. The flowers are atypical of composites in that they are lacking ray florets. Plant several specimens a few feet apart from each other. Most species are tall and should be planted at the back of the border. In larger ornamental gardens, Eutrochium can be placed in the centre of the border and repeated at intervals for great effect. Be prepared to stake the plants in part-shade to prevent them from bending over during heavy rain.

E. dubium is on the small side, but still grows to four feet tall. It is found in the Eastern coastal states and provinces. E. maculatum and purpureum are both native to Ontario and E. fistulosum is an additional species found in Quebec.

Eupatorium purpureum - Joe Pye Weed
Joe Pye Weed bush
Eupatorium maculatum -Spotted Joe Pye Weed
Eupatorium with Skipper
Eupatorium maculatum with Fiery Skipper
Eupatoriuim dubium
Eupatorium dubium 'Little Joe'

Joe-Pye Weed with monarch butterfly

Joe-Pye weed with monarch butterfly