Alphabetical Plant Listing

Vernonia gigantea (Giant Ironweed)

Giant Ironweed, Tall Ironweed, Vernonia altissima


Vernonia gigantea (Giant Ironweed) is a tall, clump-forming perennial boasting dense, broad, flattened clusters of tiny, fluffy, intense purple, finely petaled flowers in late summer and early fall. Each glorious flower head may consist of up to 30-50 flowers. Attractive to birds and butterflies, the blossoms are borne atop stiff, upright stems clothed in lance-shaped, deep green leaves. They give way to fluffy, rusty seed clusters. As a tall, narrow plant, Giant Ironweed is suited for the back of the border or tight spaces and grows well in the native meadow garden and along ponds and streams.

  • Grows up to 5-8 ft. tall (150-240 cm) and 3-6 ft. wide (90-180 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun to part shade in average, medium to wet soils.
  • Excellent choice for beds and border, cottage gardens, wildflower gardens, prairies and meadows, rain gardens.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Deer resistant.
  • Deadhead regularly to prolong flowering and avoid unwanted self-seeding.
  • Easily grown from seed.
  • Native to eastern North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 8
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Vernonia - Ironweeds
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 5' – 8' (150cm – 240cm)
Spread 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Spacing 60" – 72" (150cm – 180cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Northeast, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Wet Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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By Julian Popov, Nancy J. Ondra, Shutterstock

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 5 – 8
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Vernonia - Ironweeds
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 5' – 8' (150cm – 240cm)
Spread 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Spacing 60" – 72" (150cm – 180cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Northeast, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Wet Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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