Vernonia noveboracensis - New York Ironweed

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Butterfly FriendlyFull Sun
New York Ironweed
Vernonia noveboracensis

A fluffy haze of deep purple flowers is often covered by a parade of butterflies in late summer. Other beneficial insects feed on the nectar and the pollen. This lovely clumping native adapts well to any moist to normal soil.

  • Abundant nectar source for butterflies and other pollinators
  • Good source of pollen for beneficial insects
  • Old stems and flower heads provide winter cover for beneficial insects
  • Statuesque plants don't need staking and make a good focal point in late summer
  • Tolerant of a wide range of soils and conditions

Native Range

Low woods, ditches and marshes; mainly near the coast; Massachusetts to Pennsylvania south to Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida.

Map Credit: The Biota of North America 
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)


This plant's common name is attributed to certain "iron-like" plant qualities including the tough stems, the rusty color of fading flowers and the rusty colored seeds, as well as it's iron-like constitution.




Plant in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soils and conditions, but prefers rich, slightly acidic soils that remain moist. Remove flower heads before seed develops to prevent unwanted self-seeding. If you want shorter plants, cut back stems nearly to the ground in late spring Leave the stems standing through winter to provide cover for beneficial insects.


Mature Size: 30-36" Tall x 30-36" Wide

Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Sun Exposure: Full Sun

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