Spotted Joe pye is a wetland species for wetland areas, restoration, rain gardens, and landscape ornamental.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Eupatorium maculatum ‘Gateway’ is a handsome perennial wildflower that injects architectural interest into the late summer garden. This robust rhizomatous wildflower has sturdy stems with whorls of bold attractive foliage. In mid-summer, plants are topped with a frothy crown of rounded mauve-pink flower clusters. This cultivar thrives in sunny moist sites where it is frequented by fluttering butterflies.
HABITAT & HARDINESS: The parent species Eupatorium maculatum occurs in North America throughout the southern Canadian provinces and from Maine to North Carolina and west to Washington and Arizona.
Plants are indigenous to marshes, swamps, wet prairies and sedge meadows. Plants are usually found in high quality sandy wetlands.
‘Gateway’ is a popular and well known Eupatorium maculatum cultivar. This selection is shorter, more compact and bushier than the norm. Plants have large flowers with consistently red stems.
This species is hardy from USDA Zones 4-8.
PLANT DESCRIPTION: Eupatorium maculatum ‘Gateway’ is a compact sturdy perennial with unbranched wine colored stems.
The stems are clothed in large deep green toothed lance shaped leaves arranged in whorls of 3 or 4.
From mid-summer until autumn, plants bear terminal dome shaped flower corymbs that are 1’ or more across. The flower clusters consist of many small feathery lavender-pink disk florets.
The blossoms mature into soft buff colored seed clusters that are attractive into the winter.
Plants are 4-6’ tall with a 2-3’ spread. Over the years, plants expand to form beefy clumps.
CULTURAL & MAINTENANCE NEEDS: Eupatorium fistulosum ‘Gateway’ prefers full to part sun. Plants thrive in fertile moist to wet soils. In drought conditions, leaves are likely to scorch.
If plants are trimmed in spring, plants will develop a bushier habit.
This species is pest resistant and foliage is unpalatable to deer and other herbivores.
LANDSCAPE USES: Eupatorium maculatum ‘Gateway’ is a dramatic Accent for a Wildlife Garden or moist Meadow. Plants are also used as Butterfly Nectar Plants, Cut Flowers or as part of a Grouping or Mass Planting. This wildflower has Showy Blooms and provides Erosion Control. It can be used in Cottage Gardens, Deer Resistant Plantings, Rain Gardens, Water-wise Landscapes, Low Maintenance Plantings or Perennial Borders.
COMPANION & UNDERSTUDY PLANTS: Try pairing Eupatorium maculatum ‘Gateway’ with Aster oblongifolius ‘Raydon’s Favorite’, Coreopsis tripteris, Echinacea purpurea ‘Ruby Star’, Lobelia siphilitica, Monarda fistulosa, Rudbeckia fulgida var. fulgida, Silphium perfoliatum, Solidago odora or Sorghastrum nutans.
Eupatorium purpureum and Eupatorium maculatum are worthy substitutes as they are tall plants with similar flowerheads, whorled leaves and comparable cultural requirements.
TRIVIA: Unlike other members of the Aster Family, Eupatorium spp. flowers are composed only of disc florets with no rays.
Flowers attract butterflies, skippers, moths and bees. This is a particular favorite of butterflies and often more than one species will be encountered on a flower cluster.
The Latin name of this variety has been changed to Eutrochium maculatum ‘Gateway’. Generally the former Eupatorium spp. with whorled leave are now Eutrochium spp. and the bonesets which have opposite leaves are still classified as Eupatorium spp.