Walking along virtually any waterway in late Summer, you have a very good chance of seeing this flower. Joe-Pye Weed is an amazing plant that is an herb, a wildflower, a butterfly plant and an ornamental for the flower bed. It obtained its name because a Native American herbalist, named Joe Pye, used it to cure fevers.
Though we tend to think of it as a wildflower in the United States, it’s long been an ornamental plant in England where cottage gardens are popular. Joe-Pye Weed is a “weed” only in the sense that it is a wild plant (in North America). “Wildflower” would be a better name for a plant with such an attractive flower and imposing presence (up to 10 feet tall).
There are several species of this plant in Ohio and it can be hard to identify the exact type. Many insects are attracted to the nectar of Joe-Pye Weed, including bees and butterflies. The seeds of this plant are eaten by White-footed Mice, ducks and Wild Turkey.