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(Vernonia missurica)
Missouri 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: magenta to purple

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial

Flowering Time: July to September

Range in North America: Mid-west and south-central United States and Ontario in Canada

Exposure: Prefers full sun

Hardiness: Zones 5-9

Soil Requirements: medium to wet soil

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Missouri Ironweed (Vernonia missurica)

Magenta-purple flowers of Missouri ironweed (Vernonia missourica).

Flower of Missouri Ironweed (Vernonia missurica) — KatieLMiller, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Description of Missouri Ironweed (Vernonia missurica)

Missouri Ironweed (Vernonia missurica), a member of the Asteraceae (Aster Family), is a herbaceous perennial that grows from 2′ to 6.5′ tall and blooms with magenta to purple flowers in the summer to early fall (July to September).  This plant grows in places with full sun that have medium to wet soils and is hardy in zones 5-9.  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 prairies, wet meadows, bogs, successional areas in floodplains, roadsides, and fields.

Range of Missouri Ironweed (Vernonia missurica) in the United States and Canada

Range map of Missouri ironweed (Vernonia missurica) in the United States and Canada.


Missouri Ironweed (Vernonia missurica) is native to the mid-west and south-central United States and the province of Ontario in Canada.

Interesting Facts

The genus name, Vernonia, is in honor of William Vernon, an English botanist.  The species name, missurica, is a Latinized version of the original collection location.

Hosted Insects

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)


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Missouri Ironweed”

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