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Native Garden



Vernonia gigantea

  • ​Common Name: Ironweed
  • Scientific Name: Vernonia gigantea
  • Family Name:  Asteraceae
  • Origin:  Eastern United States and Puerto Rico
  • Height: 4’ to 10’
  • Width:  3’ to 4’
  • Growth: Fast growing
  • Zone: 8 – 10
  • Light Needs:  Full sun, part shade
  • Salt Tolerance:  Low
  • Soil/PH/Texture:  Smooth texture, loam, sand, adaptable PH
  • Soil Moisture:  Moist
  • Drought Tolerance:  Low
  • Pests/Diseases:  Grasshoppers, thrips, and aphids
  • Growing Conditions:   Easy to grow and low maintenance
  • Characteristics:  Giant ironweed is a species of prairies and other grasslands, old fields, roadsides, savannas and woodlands growing on dry to moist soils. It is especially common in overgrazed pasture
  • Propagation:  Cuttings, seeds.  
  • Wildlife:  Great pollinator plant and nectar source and will attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies
  • Facts:  The genus name honors the English botanist William Vernon, who did fieldwork in North America
  • Designer Considerations:  From July to October dark purple flowers can be seen flowering in large masses. Flowers bloom at the tops of the plants, so if you encounter a 6 foot tall ironweed plan, be prepared to look up for blossoms. In the garden, plants can be maintained at a shorter height by pruning them in late winter.