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Vernonia lettermanii

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
ver-NON-ee-ah let-ter-MAN-ee-eye
Description

Ironweed is an upright, clump-forming, attractive perennial that is native to North America and is in the aster family. The strong upright stems may appear reddish with fine linear green leaves. giving it a willowy appearance. It tolerates a variety of soil types and once established it can withstand drought or occasional flooding. The filly purple blooms are visited by butterflies and bees in mid to late summer.

It is not found commonly in the wild other than Arkansas and Oklahoma and is mostly available through nurseries. The cultivar 'Iron Butterfly' is a popular plant. Use in the native and pollinator garden in sun to partial shade.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Iron Butterfly'
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#sun#showy flowers#deciduous#drought tolerant#perennial#wildlife plant#purple flowers#mounding#native garden#rock gardens#pollinator plant#butterfly friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Iron Butterfly'
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#sun#showy flowers#deciduous#drought tolerant#perennial#wildlife plant#purple flowers#mounding#native garden#rock gardens#pollinator plant#butterfly friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Vernonia
    Species:
    lettermanii
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Arkansas and Oklahoma
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts pollinators
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Mounding
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Description:
    Brown to gray nutlet with a bristly brown to purple colored pappus.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are very tight clusters of tiny tubular purple disc flowers. Blooms mid to late summer.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are up to 3 inches long and 1/8 inch wide and are finely textured.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Green stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought