Ironweed or Vernonia is an important native plant in North America from Texas and Florida to the Great Lakes and Maine. It supports a large number of pollinators, caterpillars, insectivores and seed eating birds. It is a plant that’s significance should not be understated. If you want to attract parasitic wasps to kill pests, bees to pollinate flowers, or caterpillars to grow into butterflies then Ironweed should be in your garden.
Beyond native appeal, Vernonia is a beautiful plant, tall strong stems rise among other plants and yield bright deep purple flowers. These flowers appear late in the season, providing beauty when most other flowers no longer produce. This late season flourish also provides an important banquet for pollinators as they prepare for winter. Pair it with Monarda, Echinacea, and Helenium for an outstanding native perennial pollinator garden.
We like this particular Vernonia because of the deep purple color, resistance to mildew and strong stems that won’t flop. It will consistently grow 30-36” in height making it much smaller than other varieties and perfect for a garden bed. It can grow in almost any conditions except for standing water.
Photo Credit: Susan Martin
|Bloom Color:||Purple/pink flower tufts|
|Bloom Period:||Late summer to late fall; good for fall color|
|Genus & Species:||Vernonia 'Summer's Swan Song' PP28556|
|Mature Height:||30 to 36 ft.|
|Mature Spread:||40 inches|
|Plant Spacing:||35 to 40 inches|
|Planting Depth:||Plant even with the soil in pot|
|Planting Time:||Spring or fall planting|
|Soil Type:||Tolerates almost any soil. Drought tolerant|
|Sun Exposure:||Full sun|
|Zone:||3 to 8|
General care for any tree or shrub is easy, but like any living thing will require your attention. Please educate yourself and follow these simple rules.