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(Vernonia noveboracensis)
New York 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: purple

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial

Flowering Time: August to October

Range in North America: Eastern United States

Exposure: Prefers full sun

Hardiness: Zones 5-9

Soil Requirements: medium to wet soil

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New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis)

Purple flowers of New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis).

Flowers of New York Ironweed — Becky, CC0 1.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Description of New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis)

New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis), a member of the Asteraceae (Aster Family), is a herbaceous perennial that grows from 2.5′ to 8′ tall and blooms with purple flowers in the summer to early fall (August to October).  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 fields, roadsides, marshes, wet meadows, and streambanks.

Range of New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) in the United States and Canada

Range map of New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) in the United States and Canada.


New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) is native to the eastern United States and adventive in Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Origin of the Name

The genus name, Vernonia, is in honor of William Vernon, an English botanist.  The species name, noveboracensis, is Latin for “of New York.”


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New York Ironweed”

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