Meet Joe, Joe Pye Weed, that is.
This plant got its name from a Native American, Joe Pye, who used it to make a variety of medicines. It was used to treat fevers and symptoms of Typhus as well as kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
Joe Pye Weed is a native perennial herb in the Asteraceae family. I am not sure which Joe Pye Weed I have here, but I think it is Spotted Joe Pye Weed or Eupatorium maculatum. It has long tapered leaves that grow in a whorl around the stem. The stem may be spotted or dark purple.
This plant is a favourite of butterflies, bees and other insects. It also attracts hummingbirds. It grows best in moist soils and loves sunshine. The blooms last throughout the summer and well into fall. New varieties are being developed, at the present time, for use in the garden. This plant is really stunning when you see it in ditches and other waste areas.