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Vernonia lettermannii 'Iron Butterfly'

Phonetic Spelling
ver-NON-ee-uh let-ter-MAH-nee-eye
Description

Iron Butterfly Ironweed is a perennial wildflower in the aster family with a mounding habit and showy purple flowers. This cultivar was created to accentuate a compact habit, rapid growth rate, and long bloom period. Many frilly disc flower appear in summer at a time when other flowers are giving out to provide the bees and butterflies with nectar. The foliage is attractive even when not in bloom, adding a finer texture to the garden. 

Grow this plant in average well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. It is drought tolerant once established and poor soil tolerant so do not over-fertilize. Leave stems intact during the winter and cut to the ground in late winter or early spring.

Use Iron Butterfly in a rock garden, drought-tolerant garden or in the border of a pollinator garden. 

More information on Vernonia lettermanii.

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Pollinator Garden- Full Sun Pollinator Garden- Partial Shade
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#drought tolerant#fine texture#fast growing#magenta flowers#long bloom time#rock gardens#pollinator plant#poor soils tolerant#compact habit#butterflies#butterfly garden#frilly flowers
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#drought tolerant#fine texture#fast growing#magenta flowers#long bloom time#rock gardens#pollinator plant#poor soils tolerant#compact habit#butterflies#butterfly garden#frilly flowers
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Vernonia
    Species:
    lettermannii
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Cultivar of a native plant
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Mounding
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    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
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Frilly 1 inch purplish-red disc flowers in terminal corymbs in mid to late summer.
  • Leaves:
    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:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Attractive linear green leaves spiral alternately up the stem and become denser at the tips. Up to 5 inches long and 1/8 inch wide with smooth margins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pool/Hardscape
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil