Spotted Joe Pye Weed

Contrary to its name, this plant is anything but a weed and would be a crown jewel in any garden. Their attractive and sturdy stems are almost the same color as the dusty rose-colored flowers. The flowers will bloom for many weeks in July and August, becoming absolute magnets for dozens of species of butterflies, honey bees, bumblebees, long-horned bees (Melissodes spp.), leaf-cutting bees (Megachile spp.), bee flies, butterflies, skippers, and moths.

Why is this plant called Joe Pye? During the 18th century a Native American Herbalist, known today as Joe Pye, used this plant to cure typhoid fever that raged in his community from contact with settlers. His medicine is said to have stopped the epidemic in its tracks. After he cured his community, this plant was forever known as Joe Pye. If only we had Joe Pye and his medicinal concoctions in 2020….

Spotted Joe-Pye weed is more tolerant of water-logged conditions than most plants, yet can do just fine in hot summer conditions when water is scarce. It’s a plant you can forget you planted, until it blooms, and then wow! It puts on a show and invites all the pollinators to visit your garden. 

Plant the spotted Joe Pye weed in the spring in areas with full sun or partial shade.