Looks like Joe Pye Weed -Eutrochium
Used by Native Americans to treat fever, kidney stones and urinary infections
Definitely attracts butterfly and other polinators as well as beneficial bugs.
There are several varieties growing from 2 feet to 8 feet. Mine grows about 5 feet tall...I like to cut it back to 2 feet this time of year so that it puts out more stems for flowers. The stems have a reddish/purple cast with opposite leaves. The stems are smooth and the leaves are serrated.
Pink to purple flowers bloom July to September have a pleasant fragrance..
Great back of border plant...transplants easily, but will need staking for the taller varieties.
Often found growing in the same area is Another tall "weed" that has a similar growth habit, but has a leave that is alternate on a slightly velvety stem. Blooms are white in the fall. It is called False Boneset or Eupatorium Allissimum. It is difficult to dig out.
It hass minimal medicinal properties other than to make you sneeze to clear your nostrils. It does attract pollinators and beneficials.
Both will offer some summer shade to chicken pons.
Edited by NanaKat - 5/13/16 at 9:42am