Hollow Joe-pye weed
Sun/shade: Full sun to part shade
Soil moisture: Medium to wet
Flowering period: July to September
Host plant for 2 caterpillar species
Like clouds tinged pink in the evening light, the airy, dome-shaped flower clusters of hollow Joe Pye rise above the wet meadow, occupying its uppermost stratum. The plant’s narrowly tubular flowers are an outstanding nectar source for long-tongued pollinators, attracting bumblebees, butterflies, moths, and skippers. Although providing this kind of nourishment is critical to pollinator conservation, ensuring the availability of nesting resources is vital as well. Hollow Joe Pye addresses this need with its hollow stems, which offer a home to various species of cavity nesting bees. In recognition of hollow Joe Pye’s exceptional pollinator value, the Xerces Society has placed it on its shortlist of recommended plants for the Great Lakes Region.
Native to NE Ohio habitats including meadows, wet meadows, and forest edges, hollow Joe Pye grows well in conditions of full sun to light shade and wet to moderate soil moisture. Due to its immense height (5-9’) (11) hollow Joe Pye is a good choice for the back edge of pollinator gardens, where it produces its ethereal pink flowers for approximately one month in mid to late summer. As an added element of structural interest, Hollow Joe Pye’s leaves form rings around the stem at regular intervals to charming effect.
Photo by Fritz Flohr Reynolds.