Joe Pye Weed is a very tall plant, up to 6′ in the best sun/soil conditions, but strong stems support the flowering plant so it rarely needs to be staked. These attractive stems are almost the same color as the dusty rose-colored flowers, which will bloom for many weeks in July and August, becoming absolute magnets for dozens of species of butterflies. Also called Spotted Joe Pye Weed, it is best planted in full to almost-full sun and rich, moist soils. It will spread so should be planted with caution in small landscape situations.
The lance-shaped leaves grow in whorls around the stem. The otherwise green stem is purple where the leaves attach. Leaves reach about 6 inches in length and are usually serrated along the edges. In some areas, crushed leaves give off a slight vanilla scent.
The compound flowers are composed of 5 – 8 florets and bracts in dusty rose to mauve, giving the appearance of large clusters. The corolla of each floret is tubular, making them popular with hummingbirds.