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Joe Pye weed
Joe Pye weed is a showstopper of a prairie native, producing huge, puffy flower heads in late summer. It prefers moist soils, but with its extensive root system, it also tolerates drought well. It is a large plant, growing 4 to 6 feet tall.
Closely related, hardy ageratum is a spreading plant that grows to only 2 feet tall. Another relative, white snakeroot, reaches 4 to 5 feet tall. All are great for naturalistic or cottage plantings and for attracting butterflies.
Part Sun, Sun
From 1 to 8 feet
2-4 feet wide
more varieties for Joe Pye weed
'Chocolate' white snakeroot
Eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate' has white, fuzzy flowers on 3- to 5-foot-tall plants. Its bronzy purple foliage turns greener as the season progresses. Zones 3-7
'Gateway' Joe Pye weed
Eupatorium maculatum 'Gateway' is a selection that is slightly shorter than the species, growing 4 to 5 feet tall. Zones 3-7
Eupatorium coelestinum has fuzzy, purple-blue flowers that resemble those of annual ageratum in late summer and fall. The plant spreads quickly by shallow stolons below the soil surface, so plant it with caution. Zones 4-10
Joe Pye weed
Eupatorium maculatum is a striking plant for the back of the border, with 10- to 12-inch rosy flower clusters atop 5- to 6-foot-tall burgundy stems. Zones 3-7
'Little Joe' Joe Pye weed
Eupatorium dubium 'Little Joe' is a compact plant that grows 4 feet tall, making it suitable for smaller gardens. Its mauve-purple flowers begin to bloom in midsummer. Zones 3-7
plant Joe Pye weed with
Miscanthus is one of the most prized of ornamental grasses, and one particular cultivar, 'Morning Light', sums up much of its appeal: This grass is stunning when backlit by the sun, either rising or setting.Statuesque miscanthus makes dense clumps of arching grassy foliage in an assortment of widths, decoration, and fineness, according to variety. Erect, dramatic plumes of flower spikelets rise among the leaves or well above them and last beautifully through the winter. Site miscanthus with good drainage and plenty of space in sun or light shade.
With its tall wispy wands of lavender or blue flowers and silvery foliage, Russian sage is an important player in summer and fall gardens. It shows off well against most flowers and provides an elegant look to flower borders. The aromatic leaves are oblong, deeply cut along the edges. Foot-long panicles of flowers bloom for many weeks. Excellent drainage and full sun are ideal, although very light shade is tolerated. Plant close to avoid staking since the tall plants tend to flop.
'Karl Foerster' is the best known of the feather reedgrasses and boasts all the key elements of this beautiful, useful ornamental grass. While other ornamental grasses tend to arch outward, feather reedgrass tends to grow straight and upright, giving an architectural element to the landscape, even in winter, as long as you leave it standing.Feather reedgrass produces tiny flowers in early summer. Seed heads mature to golden tan by midsummer and remain attractive into fall. Cut back in late winter or early spring as soon as new growth is detected at the base.