The plant was named after the English botanist William Vernon (died 1711) who travelled extensively in the northern United States. Apparently the stem on Vernonia is so tough that its stem has been likened to iron – hence ironweed. There is another plant called ironwort – supposedly from its ability to heal wounds created by iron (war wounds). This is not that plant.
- Bloom time: Early to late Fall
- Height: 72”
- Sun needed: Full
- Bloom color: Purple
- Planting space: 18” to 24” apart
- Soil preferred: Well-drained, dryish once established
- Propagation method: Division or seed
This is a 6-foot-tall perennial with huge numbers of purple flowers in mid- to late fall.
‘Albiflora’ is a white-flowering form.
This is not a plant that you’ll swoon over and demand to have it in your garden but it is a fall bloomer and it is purple.
Two characteristics that make it worth searching out to put at the back of the border so the hot yellows of the rest of the fall plants have something to contrast with.
Grow them in the full sun, on drier soils.
Do deadhead the flowers or you might find yourself knee-deep in them in a good garden soil.