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