Keystone Value: The genus Eupatorium (Joe Pye) supports over 40 species of butterfly and moth caterpillars, providing food for a variety of birds and mammals.
Spotted Joe Pye weed is a tall, showy plant that is found in damp meadows, thickets, and coastal areas. It typically grows from 4 to 7 feet tall with coarsely-serrated, dark green foliage, and it prefers full sun but will tolerate light afternoon shade. Its common name comes from the purple spots on its stems. The showy, mauve pink, fragrant flowers attract butterflies and pollinators of all sorts. It is the host plant for many interesting butterflies and moths, including the delightful Ruby Tiger Moth and the Clymene moth (pictured above). Spotted Joe Pye can be used in a rain garden or to naturalize, and should be placed at the rear of a garden because of its height.