Alphabetical Plant Listing

Verbesina alternifolia (Wingstem)

Wingstem, Yellow Ironweed, Actinomeris alternifolia, Ridan alternifolia


Very tall, Verbesina alternifolia (Wingstem) is a clump-forming perennial boasting large dome-shaped clusters of bright yellow daisies in late summer to fall. Blooming for 4-6 weeks, they are attractive to bees, butterflies and skippers. The blossoms are borne atop strongly upright, stiff, hairy stems adorned with our raised ridges, hence the name 'wingstem'. Each luminous flower, 1-2 in. across (2-5 cm), features up to 10 reflexed, yellow ray florets and a slightly darker yellow center disk. Their real charm is the disk of tiny florets, projecting outward like a pincushion with thick needles. A single one-seeded fruit (achene) is produced by each disk floret. It may be dispersed by strong wind or carried by birds and other animals. The foliage of olive-green, elliptic or lanceolate leaves, 4-12 in. long (10-30 cm) is rough. Native to sandy to rocky mesic soils of floodplains, woodlands, thickets, ditches and prairies in eastern and central North America, Wingstem spreads by rhizomes and self-seeds extravagantly, forming colonies over time. It is best suited as a background planting in a native plant garden or wildflower meadow. A good food source for insects and birds, it is not favored by deer.

  • Grows up to 4-8 ft. tall (120-240 cm) and 2-6 ft. wide (60-180 cm).
  • Thrives in full sun to part shade in organically rich, moist, well-drained soils.
  • Excellent choice for cottage gardens, native plant gardens, wildflower gardens, prairies and meadows.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Deer resistant.
  • Propagate by seed or division in early spring.
  • Native to eastern and central North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 4' – 8' (120cm – 240cm)
Spread 2' – 6' (60cm – 180cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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Melissa McMasters, Doug McGrady (Flickr)

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 4' – 8' (120cm – 240cm)
Spread 2' – 6' (60cm – 180cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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