Vernonia gigantea

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Tall Ironweed

Asteraceae (Compositae)

Plant Specifics

Size:4-6 ft
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Purple
Fruit Color:NA
Phenology:Winter dormant
Noted for:Showy flowers


Recommended Uses:Back of a moist wildflower garden. Can also use on the edges of natural or created wetlands and streams.
Propagation:Seed or division. Seeds are available through the Florida Wildflowers Growers Cooperative.
Availability:Native nurseries, Seed, Specialty providers
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Some tolerance to salty wind but not direct salt spray.
Soil or other substrate:Loam, Sand
Soil pH:Adaptable



Nectar attracts butterflies and native beens. 

Larval host for spring azure butterfly.

Native Habitats:Exposed sand and gravel bars of streams during low water, stream banks, hydric to wet mesic pine flatwoods. Rich soils. Ruderal.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:The genus name honors the English botanist William Vernon, who did fieldwork in North America.