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September Flora Spotlight:
Tall Ironweed

Tall Ironweed
Vernonia altissima

Commonly called Tall Ironweed Vernonia altissima is a magnificent native perennial plant. Rich royal purple flower heads made up of 15 to 30 small flowers can be a foot across. The strong stems, thus the name ironweed, can reach up to 7 feet in height. They make a great back border plant as well as a focal point in any landscape. Ironweed is very attractive growing with Goldenrod, Joe Pye Weed and Sunflowers. 

If you have developed a rain garden, retention pond or have a wet area in your yard, this is the perfect plant. Ironweed likes rich, moist soil, in full sun to light shade. 

Vernonias are fabulous butterfly plants, as they are both sources of nectar for adults and a food source for caterpillars. They make great cut flowers too.

Native Americans used the root to treat post childbirth and other pains. Extracts from the plant also were once used for treating stomach aliments.


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