Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

VERNONIA noveboracensis

Image of Vernonia noveboracensis

Jessie Keith

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

VERNONIA noveboracensis

Plant Common Name

New York Ironweed

General Description

The long-stemmed, puffy purple flower clusters of New York ironweed offer wild, statuesque beauty to the late summer border or meadow. This North American wildflower is native across much of the eastern United States where it can be found in moist prairies, old-fields, open woods, meadows and roadsides.

The alternate leaves of this tall, herbaceous perennial are long, lance-shaped, dark green and semi-glossy. In mid- to late-summer, the upright stems branch out to form flat-topped inforescences covered with royal purple flowers that look like small, puffy sea urchins. The soft flowers attract butterflies and other insect pollinators and fade to a rusty brown as they die. Puffy white seed heads follow.

Full sun is best for this wildflower, but partial sun will also suffice. Offer plants moist, fertile, relatively neutral soil. New York ironweed tends to self-sow, so unless you want many plants, it is best to deadhead old flowers to prevent seed dispersal. This is a lovely late-season bloomer for naturalistic meadow gardens or informal borders. It looks great mixed with sunflowers and tall ornamental grasses. Birds eat ironweed seed through winter, so be sure to leave the seedheads in wilder meadow plantings.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Violet

  • Fruit Color

    Copper, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes