What: Eupatorium maculatum “Gateway,” commonly called Joe Pye weed, is a tall, bold perennial that’s native to the East Coast. The strong upright stems are richly colored in deep merlot red holding in architectural whorls rich green foliage. Large billowy flowers open to dusky rose-pink in midsummer and are irresistible to butterflies. In late summer flowers give way to attractive seed heads, which persist well into winter.
Where: Use as a single dramatic specimen or in small groups for a huge impact. The dusky flowers look great with tall ornamental grasses, white and yellow summer blooming perennials or variegated foliage.
Size: The deciduous perennial grows to 7 feet tall by 5 feet wide.
Care: Needs full sun and regular summer watering.
— Richie Steffens,
Great Plant Picks