Pollination biology of Joe-Pye Weed is fascinating


Joe-Pye Weeds (Eutrochium spp.) and the closely related Thoroughworts (Eupatorium spp.) are widely appreciated for their ability to attract numerous, diverse, pollinators (Figure 1). Colorful butterflies large and small, bees both native and domesticated, hummingbirds, wasps, and other insects are common floral visitors. As I wrote the article about Joe-Pye Weed in the last issue of Sempervirens (Hayden 2023), it occurred to me that, because Joe-Pye Weeds and their relatives attract so many pollinators, their flowers must produce both nectar and pollen to attract such a diverse array of floral visitors—some pollinators consume pollen, others sip nectar, and some do both. As I hypothesized about nectar and nectaries in Joe-Pye Weed flowers, another question came to mind: where were these supposed nectaries located?

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2023

Publisher Statement

© 2024 Virginia Native Plant Society