Eutrochium dubium (Three-Nerved (Coastal Plain) Joe Pye Weed)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

As reflected in one of its common names, this shorter Joe-pye-weed (formerly Eupatorium dubium) is native to the Coastal Plain and can be found in eastern swamps, shores, and wet meadows. It also is found in Virginia’s Loudoun County, Delaware’s Piedmont, and a couple of interior Pennsylvania counties. Its beautiful pink-headed stems wave in the summer breeze and provide landing platforms attractive to butterflies and other insect pollinators.

Flowers like Eutrochium dubium that attract numerous pollinators also may attract predators like the European hornet. When this large insect feeds on pests like grasshoppers, caterpillars, and yellow jackets, it is considered beneficial. But when it damages trees or crops or builds its nest in areas frequented by people, it may be considered a hazard. Watch this video–not intended for the squeamish–to discover what insects fall victim to this predator in the Library Garden.
Video © 2017 Mary Free 

Learn about Pollinators


Print Version: Eutrochium dubium (Three-nerved (Coastal Plain) Joe Pye Weed)

Eutrochium dubium, Three-Nerved (Coastal Plain) Joe Pye Weed Perennial Height: 2–5 feet Spread: 2–4 feet Bloom Color: Pale pink to dark purple Characteristics Herbaceous perennial with upright, unbranched purple stems Yellowish-green, ovate leaves in whorls of 3–4 Tiny pink to purple flowers in dome-shaped clusters, 4- to 7-inches across on solid purple to purple-speckled stems bloom from July to October Spreads by self-seeding Attributes Tolerates clay soil and wet soil No serious pests or diseases; deer rarely damage Popular cultivar ‘Little Joe’ is a stronger performer as far as flower production compared to the species; both the species and this cultivar have excellent resistance to powdery mildew Attracts a variety of bees and butterflies; larval host to various moths Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Humus-rich Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade Water Requirements: Moist, Wet Cut plants to ground in late winter Use in borders, meadows, naturalized areas and in cottage, native plant, or rain gardens Bombus impatiens, common eastern bumble bee, is one of various bee species that frequents Joe-pye-weed. Hardiness: USDA Zones 3–9 Excellent Replacement for Buddleia species - Butterfly Bush Cleome hasslerana - Spider Flower (annual) Lythrum salicaria- Purple Loosestrife Lythrum virgatum - European wand Loosestrife

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets