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Plants We Love: Smooth Ironweed

Smooth ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata) flowers in late summer and works well at the back of a flower border.
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Plant name: Smooth ironweed, prairie ironweed

Botanical name: Vernonia fasciculata

smooth ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata)

Virtues: Easy to grow; blooms late in summer; adds height to flower beds and borders—good background plant; attracts butterflies and bees.

Flowers: Dense clusters of bright purple flowers in late summer to early fall.

Habit: Herbaceous perennial reaching to 5 feet tall. Narrow, unbranched form. Slowly spreads by its roots.

Season: Late summer.

Origin: Wet prairies and marshes of the American Midwest and Great Plains south to Texas.

Cultivation: Prefers full sun and moist to wet soil. Withstands short periods of flooding. Tolerates some share and drier conditions. USDA Zones 4–9.

Read about another type of ironweed

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