Easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in full sun. Tolerates some light afternoon shade, particularly in hot summer climates. Prefers moist, fertile, humusy soils which do not dry out. Cut plants to the ground in late winter.
Eutrochium maculatum, commonly known as Joe Pye weed, is native to damp meadows, thickets and coastal areas in eastern North America. Plants typically grow 4-7’ tall on branched, purple-speckled stems clad with serrate, lance-shaped, medium green leaves (to 8” long) that typically appear in whorls of 3-6. Tiny, light to deep purple flowers in compound inflorescences bloom from mid-summer to early fall.
Genus name is derived from the Greek wordseumeaning well andtrochemeaning wheel-like in reference to the whorled leaves.
Specific epithet means spottted in reference to the spottted stems.
‘Gateway’ is a popular cultivar that is more compact than the species, typically growing shorter (to 4-5’ tall) and bushier with tighter and thicker inflorescences. It is an erect, clump-forming perennial that features coarsely-serrated, lance-shaped, dark green leaves (to 8” long), typically in whorls of 3-4 on sturdy, wine-red stems. Tiny, dusky rose-pink flowers in huge, terminal, domed, compound inflorescenses (12-18” diameter) bloom in mid-summer to early fall. Flowers are very attractive to butterflies. Flowers give way to attractive seed heads, which persist well into winter.
No serious insect or disease problems. Leaves may scorch if soils are allowed to dry out.
Tall plant for moist soils in borders, cottage gardens, meadows, native plant gardens, wild/naturalized areas or water margins.