Common Name: Joe-pye Weed
Scientific Name: variously Eupatorium maculatum and Eutrochium maculatum (depending on the source)
Habitat & Range: wet, full sun meadows and along streams and lakes
Bloom Time: summer
About: A tall perennial you can get at most nurseries or native plant sales, this may look like a milkweed, but it is in fact part of the aster family. If you have a pond on your property, this is a perfect plant to edge it. It’s tall (some varieties can reach 10 feet!) so use it as a backdrop to smaller plants in your native or cottage garden. Even though it likes moist soil, its extensive root system means it will tolerate drought. It’s not too picky. Other pluses: it attracts butterflies and deer don’t like to eat it.
Reference: Wildflowers of Michigan by Stan Tekiela; Adventure Publications, 2000
(also Better Homes & Gardens online plant encyclopedia)