Content Detail

Coastal plain Joe Pye weed is a must-have summer perennial for any pollinator or butterfly gardens, as this is a perennial that will attract a number of birds, bees, and butterflies, especially monarchs and swallowtails, with the pinkish-purple flowers. The plants can reach heights of 6 feet, but dwarf varieties are available. Coastal plain Joe Pye weed prefers moist, sandy, well-draining soil in full sun to partial shade, and will not thrive in dry soils with too much shade.

  • Family (English) Aster
  • Family (botanic) Asteraceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Native locale North America
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Moist, Sandy soil, Wet soil
  • Tolerances clay soil, Occasional flooding, Wet sites
  • Season of interest midsummer, late summer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Pink, Purple
  • Shape or form Broad, Upright
  • Growth rate Fast, Moderate
  • Wildlife Birds, Butterflies, Insect pollinators

Size and method of spreading:

Coastal plain Joe Pye weed grows to approximately 3 to 5 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide. This plant spreads by self-seeding. 

Native geographic location and habitat: (include C-value if appropriate)

Coastal plain Joe Pye weed is native to the Eastern United States. 

Attracts birds or pollinators: 

Coastal plain Joe Pye weed flowers are known to attract bumblebees, carpenter bees, monarch butterflies, fritillary butterflies, swallowtail butterflies, and skippers. The caterpillars of a number of butterfly species also depend on the foliage of these plants as a source of food. Songbirds will eat the seeds of coastal plain Joe Pye weed, and the hair of the fruit (pappus) is used for nesting material. 

Leaf description:

The leaves of coastal plain Joe Pye weed are simple leaves arranged in groups of three or four around the stems (whorled). They are wider at the base and narrow at the tip (ovate to lanceolate with acute apices), and their edges have sawlike teeth (serrate margins). 

Flower description:

Unlike the typical daisy-like flowers of other members of the aster family, coastal plain Joe Pye weed does not have ray flowers that look like petals. Instead, the flowers are small, clustered disk flowers in a domelike structure (corymbiform). The color of the flowers is a mauve pink, almost purple. The flowers are attractive to pollinators, notably butterflies.

Fruit description: 

The fruit of coastal plain Joe Pye weed is a bit like the fruit of a dandelion, small, dry, and attached to hair (achene) that helps the fruit to disperse by means of the wind.

Plant care:

Do not allow coastal plain Joe Pye weed to dry out or the leaves may scorch. This plant can be cut back to the ground in winter for regrowth in spring. Coastal plain Joe Pye weed readily self-seeds.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Leaves of coastal plain Joe Pye weed may scorch if the soil conditions are too dry. These plants are tolerant of wet conditions. They are generally pest and disease free. They are noted for being particularly resistant to powdery mildew and have been reported to be deer resistant.


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