Plants We Love: New York Ironweed

Plant name: New York ironweed

Botanical name: Vernonia noveboracensis

Virtues: Blooms in late summer and autumn; a tall, narrow plant for the back of the border or tight spaces; easy to grow; purple flowers attract butterflies and seed heads attract birds.

Flowers: Fluffy purple flowers appear in 3- to 4- inch clusters on 4- to 6-foot-tall stems in late summer.

Habit: Upright herbaceous perennial to 4 or 6 feet tall and 3 or 4 feet wide.

Season: late summer

Origin: Eastern United States

Cultivation: Prefers rich, moist soil but will tolerate any average soil with moderate to wet moisture. Full sun. Rust-colored seed heads appear after the flowers and attract birds. Plant will naturalize by self-sowing, so remove these if that is unwanted. USDA Zones 5 to 9.

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