Vernonia noveboracensis, New York Ironweed

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Fluffy deep purple blooms atop 8-foot tall sturdy stalks draw bees and butterflies from mid-summer into fall.  This member of the daisy family is at home in fields, along stream banks, and in freshwater marshes. The Virginia
Native Plant Society named New York Ironweed Wildflower of the Yearin 1995.

Print Version: Vernonia noveboracensis, New York Ironweed
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York Ironweed) Perennial Height: 31⁄2–8 feet Spread: 3–4 feet Bloom Color: Red-violet to purple Characteristics Several erect stems arise from a single crown Rough, lance-shaped leaves grow on sturdy stems Brilliant composite flowers in terminal clusters on branched stems bloom from August to October Flowers followed by rust-color seed clusters Spreads by rhizome and seed Attributes Tolerates clay soil and wet soil; no serious pests or diseases; deer rarely damage Stout stems often persist throughout the winterEthnobotanic usesAttracts bees and butterflies to the flowers and birds to the seed heads; larval host to American Lady butterfly Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Slightly acidic loam Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade Water Requirements: Moist, Wet Plant height can be reduced by cutting back stems nearly to ground in late spring Remove spent flower heads to control self-seeding Use at the back of borders and in butterfly, meadow, and rain gardens Despite its name, it is not abundant in NY. Rather, it is primarily concentrated in NY’s Hudson Valley Region, NYC and Long Island and absent in much the rest of the state. In PA, it is absent in the northern counties bordering NY. Hardiness: USDA Zones 5–9 Excellent Replacement for Buddleia species - Butterfly Bush Lythrum salicaria - Purple Loosestrife
Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets