Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Native Plant of the Month - Joe Pye Weed

Maryland native Flower - Joe Pye Weed I want to start profiling native plants that are great for use in a backyard and also have wildlife value. August isn't the best month to start such a profile - there are few plants that shine in the dog days of August.

However, Joe Pye Weed is an exception. A tall, graceful plant, Joe Pye Weed has beautiful purple flowers, and is loved by birds and butterflies. Some varieties of Joe Pye Weed can grow up to 10 feet tall, but there are smaller varietals (such as "Little Joe") that are only 3 feet in height.

When I see Joe Pye Weed in its natural setting, it is usually on the edge of woodlands, in partial shade. However, it also grows well in full sun. Different varieties can have different water requirements - pick the one that works for your yard.

Maryland Native Plant - Joe Pye Weed
These pictures were taken at a golf course, illustrating that Joe Pye Weed (despite it's unfortunate name) can be perfectly at home in a manicured yard.

I want to include Latin names with all of my native plant recommendations, because the same plants might have more than one common name. Of course, the first plant I pick has a complicated and evolving naming structure. Most commonly, Joe Pye Weed is any purple flowering plant that starts with Eupatorium. For more details on its Latin names, check out this article.

No comments:

Post a Comment