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(Vernonia lindheimeri)
Woolly Ironweed

Host Species: American Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis)

Nectar Plant: many insects including other butterflies, bees, and wasps. Birds, enjoy the seeds in the fall.

Flower Color: pink to purple

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial

Flowering Time: June to August

Range in North America: States of Texas and Arkansas and adjacent areas of Mexico

Exposure: Prefers full sun to partial-shade

Hardiness: Zones 6-10

Soil Requirements: Medium to dry high pH soil

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Woolly Ironweed (Vernonia lindheimeri)

Monarch on woolly ironweed (Vernonia lindheimeri) flowers.

Alternative Names

Silver Ironweed

Description of Woolly Ironweed (Vernonia lindheimeri)

Woolly Ironweed (Vernonia lindheimeri), a member of the Asteraceae (Aster Family), is a herbaceous perennial that grows from 2′ to 3′ tall and blooms with pink to purple flowers in the late spring and summer (June to August).  This plant grows in places with full sun to partial-shade in high pH soil.  In a garden setting this plant can handle dry conditions and is recommended for xeriscaping.  More information on this species can be found on this blog post.

Hosted Species

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

American lady butterfly on white flower.

Nectar Species

This species is a nectar source to other butterflies, skippers, bees, and wasps during the growing season.  Birds, such as goldfinch, like to eat the seeds in the fall.


This ironweed grows in open calcareous areas such as dry rocky limestone, river beds, riparian areas, and prairies.

Range of Woolly Ironweed (Vernonia lindheimeri) in the United States and Canada

Range map of woolly ironweed (Vernonia lindhemieri) in the United States and Canada.


Woolly Ironweed (Vernonia lindheimeri) is native to the states of Texas and Arkansas and the adjacent areas of Mexico.

Interesting Facts

The genus name, Vernonia, is in honor of William Vernon, an English botanist.  The species name, lindheimeri, is in honor of Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer, a Texas botanist in the 1800s.

Hosted Insects

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

Native Location

Arkansas, Texas

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9, Zone 10


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Woolly Ironweed”

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