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Vernonia - Ironweeds

Vernonia is a genus of about 350 species of annuals, perennials, climbers, sub-shrubs, shrubs and trees, though only the perennials are in cultivation. Found in South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and North America, they have upright stems, simple, stalkless leaves and flat branched heads of intense purple or reddish pink, occasionally white, flowers. They are a great source of pollen and nectar for valuable pollinators such as butterflies (monarchs, American and painted ladies, eastern tiger swallowtails, skippers and sulfurs), bees and bumblebees. Easy to grow and low care, they do well in home landscapes.

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Vernonia angustifolia (Tall Ironweed)

Vernonia angustifolia (Tall Ironweed) is a clump-forming perennial boasting dense, broad, flattened clusters of tiny, fluffy, magenta-purple, finely petaled flowers in summer. Each glorious flower head may consist of up to 9-30 purple disc flowers. Attractive to bees, birds, butterflies and hummingbirds, the blossoms are borne atop stiff, upright stems clad with numerous narrow, lance-shaped, deep green leaves.

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Vernonia baldwinii (Western Ironweed)

Vernonia baldwinii (Western Ironweed) is a tall perennial boasting flattened clusters of tiny, fluffy, vivid purple disks in mid summer to late fall. Each glorious flower head may consist of up to 15-35 disk florets and the inflorescence may be as wide as 12 in. (30 cm). Attractive to bees, butterflies, and skippers, the blossoms are borne atop stout, upright, hairy stems clad with long, lance-shaped, deep green leaves.

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Vernonia fasciculata (Prairie Ironweed)

Providing a pop of tall color in the late season garden, Vernonia fasciculata (Prairie Ironweed) is an upright perennial boasting dense clusters of tiny, fluffy, intense violet-purple, finely petaled flowers in mid summer to early fall. Attractive to bees and butterflies, the blossoms are borne atop stout, upright stems bearing numerous linear to lance-shaped, coarsely-toothed, deep green leaves, 5 in. long (12 cm).

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Vernonia gigantea (Giant Ironweed)

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.

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Vernonia missurica (Missouri Ironweed)

Vernonia missurica (Missouri Ironweed) is a tall perennial boasting branched clusters of tiny, fluffy, vivid purple to magenta disks in mid summer to early fall. Each glorious flower head may consist of up to 30-60 disk florets. Attractive to bees, butterflies, and skippers, the blossoms are borne atop stout, upright, hairy stems clad with narrow, lance-shaped, deep green leaves, 7 in. long (17 cm), slightly serrated along the margins.

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Vernonia noveboracensis (New York Ironweed)

A splendid and robust garden plant, Vernonia noveboracensis (New York Ironweed) is a tall, clump-forming perennial boasting loosely branched clusters, 3-4 in. across (7-10 cm), 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.

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