Thursday, September 2, 2010


I was delighted to happen upon this sight: dozens of Monarch butterflies feeding on a rather interesting plant - Joe-Pye Weed.

Joe-Pye Weed, Eupatorium purpureum, is an amazing plant that is an herb, a wildflower, a butterfly plant and an ornamental for the flower bed.
It obtained its name after a Native American herbalist, named Joe-Pye, cured fevers using the plant. Joe-Pye is also known by the common names Queen of the Meadow, gravel root, kidney root, mist-flower, snakeroot and purple boneset.
Though we tend to think of it as a wildflower in the U.S., it's long been an ornamental in England where cottage gardens are so popular. Joe-Pye is perky and full of blooms when many other plants are finished and it lasts until hard frost.
If you have a butterfly garden, then Joe-Pye is a must have plant! The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Great Spangled Fritillary, Pearl Crescent, Monarch, and the Tawny-edged Skipper are just some of butterflies known to love Joe-Pye.

This particular patch of Joe-Pye is being grown as an ornamental, in a garden near the boardwalk, which made capturing these images a challenge due to the constant wind off the lake.

The best gardens aren't just about plants, a truly fine garden will attract additional beauty in the form of birds, bugs and other wildlife - this garden is a great example!

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