Chocolate Joe Pye Flowers?

hudsonriverbugSeptember 26, 2011

My Chocolate Joe Pye doubled in size this year, and is now a 3' mound, covered with small bunches of white flowers. It was about 18" last year, the first year I planted it (not until the end of August) and had just a few small groups of flowers in September.

I was under the impression that it would have large 'umbrels' of white flowers, since now it looks more like a Boltonia!

Am I being too critical, is this plant 'defective', or are the flowers the same as yours?

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TulsaRose z7a, Tulsa OK(7a)

Eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate' has small white flowers. It should really start performing in its third year. Maybe you were confusing it with one of the other "Joe Pye" species that have the larger flower heads?

Here is a link that might be useful: Eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate'

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 9:06AM
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Consider yourself lucky it blooms. My Chocolate bloomed twice in six years,and it was not a big show. When the autumn is rainy and dark, it does not even bother to make the buds.(like some Chrysanthemums and American asters)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 9:35AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Not defective. It makes little white flowers, but there are many of them, and the pollinators love them. Kind of a white "snowy" effect and I think it's pretty, although perhaps not as showy as some plants. It is also a very adaptable plant, and will grow in moist or dry, shade or sun.

Weislaw, that's a bummer that yours doesn't even bloom! Mine starts blooming around now, late Sept./early October, but it doesn't usually have long enough to set seed before frost.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 10:16AM
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Terrene, I like it anyway as a foliage plant. So lack of bloom does not bother me. It is healthy and clumps nicely.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 11:36AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

I've had the same thing happen as wieslaw. Except I have NEVER had mine bloom in the 5-6 years I have had it!! I keep it for the nice dark foliage...

So were you hoping for flowers similar to the other Joe Pye Weeds (maculatum, dubius, etc)? There are several cultivars out there with large white flower heads. Here is a site that has several kinds: White Eupatoriums at Lazy S'S

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 1:19PM
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Thanks everyone. Not complaining, since the plant is beautiful and the butterflies (and bees) love all the blossoms.

I'll check out the link and look for some of the other types to add to the fall show. Purple Dome Asters are putting on their display too, along with a returning small yellow mum from last year. Big difference being in Z7a from when I was trying to get these to thrive in zones 5 & 6.

Now if I can convince one of the local nurseries to get me an Alma Potsche I'll have replaced most of the fall bloomers I had in NY. Not big on mail order, but after asking for the past 2 years, it looks like that's my only alternative, short of driving back to NY with a shovel!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 8:05AM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Pffft, I don't even get white flowers, they are a dingy off-white, and yes, they are small. Truthfully, I don't particularly care for them, the overall flowering effect is very blah; I grow this cultivar strictly for the foliage effect - it's outstanding in that regard. :0)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 6:06PM
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I'd actually prefer it to not bloom, not because of appearance (which for me was beautiful - bright white and very full) but because of the potential for it to become invasive. I purchased four plants from a garden center last year, and the same season I planted it, it grew to over 3 feet, with profuse blooming in the fall (small flowers but millions of them.)

Unfortunately, I had rather stupidly planted it as a foundation plant for the front of my house. It looked GORGEOUS in between dwarf boxwoods (as foliage, or as a blooming plant), but of course it dies down to nothing, and is then unusually slow to come up in the spring, so I had big empty spots in spring.

I also read more and more about how much it self-sows... it is supposedly not much of a problem in the first couple years, but then becomes a big problem a few years down the line. I mulch the foundation area carefully, but I was worried about it spreading elsewhere. There are so many flowers that it's impossible to remove them before they go to seed.... not a problem if you're planting it in a wild setting or a "wild garden" setting, but a problem for a more formal area.

This spring, when they finally began to come up (June before there was anything significant), I ended up digging them up and replacing them with dwarf azalea with white flowers - it's actually a similar look, but evergreen, which is important for me with harsh NH winters. Unfortunately the flowers come in late spring rather than fall, though. I enjoyed the show last fall.

While I don't THINK I got "volunteer" seedlings from the Eupatorium I had planted, I *did* get seedlings from something else (wild Joe Pye?) which made its way into my yard. Whatever it is is clearly invasive and very difficult to remove, and is ALL over. The leaves are a lighter green, which is why I assume it has nothing to do with the "chocolate" plant I planted. But, the problem with what I assume to be wild Joe Pye also scared me enough to make me not only dig up the "chocolate" but discard it rather than replanting elsewhere.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 1:15PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

I get some self-seeding, but nothing invasive.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 1:43PM
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