Native Garden

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  • Common Name: Frostweed
  • Scientific Name: Verbesina virginica
  • Family Name: Asteraceae
  • Origin: Southeast United States
  • Height:  4 to 6 ft
  • Width: Varies among individuals
  • Growth: Moderate
  • Zone: USDA zones 8A through 11
  • Light needs: Full sun to part shade
  • Salt tolerance: Low
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Prefers moist, organically rich, well-drained soil, and can tolerate a very wide pH range.
  • Moisture: Mesic water needs – prefers consistently moist soil. Can tolerate occasional flooding.
  • Drought tolerance: Moderate – can handle short droughts
  • Pests/Diseases: No pests or diseases of particular concern.
  • Growing conditions: An adaptable Florida-native, this plant can thrive in both sunny and shady areas, as it is used to grow along forests. It prefers moist soil but can handle short droughts. It spreads very quickly and is known to form large thickets, so pruning may be needed. Overall, it is a low-maintenance plant with very few issues and is even deer-resistant. It is also frost tolerant.
  • Characteristics: This flowering plant grows in thickets and has tall, upright, herbaceous stems. The leaves are arranged oppositely and have rough surfaces and toothed margins. Flowers grow in dense clusters at the tips of stems; the flowers consist of small purple and white florets surrounded by several white petals. Seeds are produced in brown, dry clusters.
  • Propagation: By seed or by cuttings
  • Wildlife: The flowers are a nectar source for butterflies and bees. It is also a host plant for Bordered Patch butterfly caterpillars.
  • Facts: During freezes, this plant exudes water from its stems, which freezes, producing interesting “ice-sculptures” – hence its common name, “Frostweed”.
  • Designer considerations: Due to how difficult it is to control this plant’s shape and growth, it is not recommended for formal gardens, but instead for a more naturalized landscape. It is a great choice for native gardens and wildflower gardens, where it will spread and bloom readily. It is also a good choice for planting along forests and shady areas due to its shade tolerance.​​