Joe – Pye Weed: Summer Ends

Joe Pye Weed, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Joe Pye Weed, one of our favorite wildflowers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Joe – Pye Weed: Summer Ends, as it must. And you can tell its end is near and autumn’s arrival close at hand by what is happening in the fields of Cades Cove. The plants that bloom now are the tall ones. Like Ironweed and Goldenrod and Joe-Pye weed. Plants that, out of necessity, tower over their neighbors in order to get their share of the sunlight, now lessening each day. Although they are present in the meadows and woodlands all summer long, they remain inconspicuous until they begin to bloom in late July or early August. Moreover, their flowers differ from those of the spring and summer plants with colors that are deeper and darker.

Most often found in low-lying moist meadows near woodlands, Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum) is more than a harbinger of summer’s final weeks. It is an excellent wildflower, worthy of domesticating in our own gardens. Because of its height (5 to 7 feet), it creates a perfect backdrop for borders of flowers and shrubs, blooming when many other plants have stopped.
Joe-Pye weed loves full sun but tolerates partial shade, though it may not grow as tall. It does require a moist to wet humus and so is not very drought tolerant. Maintaining a thick mulch helps solve this problem, however.
Its dusky pink flowers develop as whorls of tiny blossoms atop a strong pinkish stem that, conveniently, requires no staking, despite its height. Also the flowers give off a rich vanilla-like scent and are much loved by a wide variety of butterflies, making Joe-Pye weed a perfect addition to a pollinator garden.
It has no insect enemies but is susceptible to powdery mildew and rust, especially when air circulation is blocked by neighboring plants. Therefore, proper spacing, typically 2 to 4 feet, is important.
Whether you watch for it in our wild meadows or in your own backyard, Joe-Pye weed is a wildflower well worth knowing.
For more on Joe-Pye weed see the Missouri Botanical Garden website:
Joe – Pye Weed.

Carl Parsons HeySmokies

Carl Parsons

HeySmokies.com is honored to have Carl Parsons as a contributing writer. Carl is Deputy Editor for Storyteller Magazine, a member of the Writers’ Guild of Sevier County, TN, and a Tennessee Master Gardener.

More Hey Smokies Features:

No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Fire Ant Invasion...
Fire ants have marched into Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Smoky Mountain Fire Ant Invasion is underway. This small intruder may pose [Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Virtual Campout...
Smoky Mountain virtual campout will be fun for the entire family! Great Smoky Mountains National Park will co-host the National Park Service[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Clingmans Dome Opens...
Clingmans Dome Opens to the public for 2020 season. Clingmans Dome Opens. Clingmans Dome is one of the most popular destinations in the Grea[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Attractions Open...
Smoky Mountain attractions open after COVID-19 closures. Smoky Mountain attractions open after two months of covid-19 fears. Smoky Mount[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Opens
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Opens...
Great Smoky Mountains National Park opens with much anticipation. The Covid-19 virus pandemic forced the closure of Great Smoky Mountain[Read More >>]
Karen Pence Gets Outside Smoky Mountain Style
Karen Pence Gets Outside Smoky Mountain Style...
GSMNP Superintendent Cassius Cash welcomes dignitariies. Photo credit - GSMNP Karen Pence gets outside Smoky Mountain Style. Second Lady Kar[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe
Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Tamale recipe. Homemade tamales are always a Smoky Mountain special event! Did you know that the Smoky Mountains are on the [Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Announces Phased Opening
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Announces Phased Opening...
Wildlife braces for the return of humans to GSMNP. Photo credit - myvetcandy Great Smoky Mountains National Park announces phased opening. B[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Dandelions
Smoky Mountain Dandelions...
Smoky Mountain dandelions (whose Botanical name is Taraxacum officinale) considered by many to be an obnoxious, stubborn, persistent weed are an[Read More >>]
Merle Fest Virtual Concert
Merle Fest Virtual Concert...
Merle Fest Virtual Concert scheduled. Music fans can view 2012 broadcast of MerleFest from Wilkesboro, NC. this weekend. The current pandemic ca[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Event Cancelled
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Event Cancelled...
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Event Cancelled. National Park officials announced the cancellation of the popular synchronous firefly ev[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Eastern Spotted Skunk
Smoky Mountain Eastern Spotted Skunk...
Smoky Mountain Eastern Spotted Skunks give fair warning and provide some interesting acrobatics just before sending out a cloud of noxious spra[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Plane Crash
Smoky Mountain Plane Crash...
Smoky Mountain Plane Crash. National park officials have identified the pilot who survived after making an emergency landing in Great Smoky Moun[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Smoky Mountain Turkey Tail Mushrooms...
Smoky Mountain Turkey Tail mushrooms are always in season! Trametes versicolor (common name Turkey Tail mushroom) is a decomposing polypore mush[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Pink Moon
Smoky Mountain Pink Moon...
Smoky Mountain Pink Moon. The Pink Moon or "Fools Moon" will not be turning pink despite the name. April’s full Moon arrives on Tuesday, April 7[Read More >>]
Dolly Parton Reads Imagination Library Stories
Dolly Parton Reads Imagination Library Stories...
Dolly Parton Reads Imagination Library Stories. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free books to childre[Read More >>]
Dollywood Cades Cove Expansion Breaks Ground
Dollywood Cades Cove Expansion Breaks Ground...
Dollywood Cades Cove Expansion Breaks Ground. Smoky Mountain officials announced today the expansion of the popular theme park has begun. The pr[Read More >>]
Native American Fry Bread Recipe
Native American Fry Bread Recipe...
Native American Fry Bread Recipe. This bread has been sustaining Americans for centuries. The simple recipe has been handed down through the ge[Read More >>]
Corona Virus Closes Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Corona Virus Closes Great Smoky Mountains National Park...
Corona Virus Closes Great Smoky Mountains National Park. GSMNP closes to support COVID - 19 prevention efforts. Park officials have closed all a[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Initiates Corona Virus Health Guidelines
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Initiates Corona Virus Health Guidelines...
Great Smoky Mountains Initiates Corona Virus Health Guidelines. Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 all national park campgrounds, picnic areas, p[Read More >>]