Sun Exposure: Sun
Soil Moisture: Medium to Wet
Height: 3'to 5'
Bloom Time: July - August
Bloom Color: magenta purple
Tolerates: Deer, wet soil
Attracts: butterflies, bees
Pollinator benefit: good nectar source for all pollinators
Ironweed (Vernonia missurica) is an upright perennial that typically grows 3-5’ (less frequently to 6’) tall on stiff, leafy stems which branch at the top. Narrow, lance-shaped to narrow-ovate leaves (to 7” long) have serrate margins. Composite flowers, each with dense, fluffy, magenta purple disks (rays absent), bloom in corymbose cymes from late summer into fall. Flowers give way to rusty seed clusters. The source of the common name for vernonias has been varyingly attributed to certain “iron-like” plant qualities including tough stems, rusty-tinged fading flowers and rusty colored seeds. Notwithstanding its toughness, the plant is, with the exception of its attractive flowers, a somewhat unexceptional ornamental.
Flowers are very attractive to butterflies. Naturalize in cottage gardens, wildflower meadows, prairies or native plant gardens. Also effective as a background plant for borders. Good for rain gardens.
info from www.missouribotanicalgarden.org