Paul’s Plant of the Week

Eupatorium Cannabinum

family: Astracae

When we first planted this beautiful herbaceous perennial we had no idea what it was going to become.  It was a small stemmy thing with nothing much going on flower wise, but was full of leaves and I wanted something to go near the pond.

In it’s first year it reached a height of somewhere between 80-100cm and looked like a smallish bush.  The flowers were unusual, a domed cluster of buds opened up into tiny pink flowers with slightly scruffy strands protuding giving the whole thing a rather unkempt appearance.  The stems have a reddish tinge to them which sets of the pointed green foliage.  This was an attractive little plant.

Eupatorium 3

However, at that time it sat infront of our pond and blocked the view, so at the end of the season I cut it right down to nothing and moved it to the back of the pond so that it would create a bit of height to the rear and not block the view of the pond itself.

Well, it clearly enjoyed being cut back.  The first stems started growing in spring.  A lot more than it had on it last year.  And it continued to grow.

This is a stunning specimen at the moment, just a year later ours stands at almost 2 metres in height with a witdh of around 1m.  It is massive, more than doubled it’s size from its first year.  The flowers started opening mid July and at the beginning of August more flower heads are showing and it is now a carpet of fluffy pink.

Eupatorium 2

It’s very hardy, H7 and can withstand strong winds once established – our garden gets a fierce gust across it whenever there is wind and many plants haven’t been able to withstand it.  This one has held it’s own, and even in the strong winds we had recently that took down several of our 7ft sunflowers (despite them being staked) and knocked our enormous Echinops over, this held it’s ground.  And I’m delighted it did.  I wouldn’t be without it near the pond.  It’s the finishing piece, the plant that holds the area together so well.

Eupatorium 2017

I’m almost looking forward to cutting it back again to see what it brings next year!

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