Narrow Leaf Ironweed (Vernonia angustifolia)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Narrow Leaf Ironweed
Give a thumbs up Tall Ironweed
Give a thumbs up Common Ironweed

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 7a -17.8 °C (0 °F) to -15 °C (5 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 24 - 48 inches
Plant Spread: 12 - 24 inches
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Purple
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Groundcover
Will Naturalize
Suitable as Annual
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Other Beneficial Insects
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Other info: Sow seed in fall for spring germination
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Pollinators: Wasps
Moths and Butterflies
Various insects
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

close-up of bloom

Photo gallery:

Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Aug 22, 2014 11:09 AM

Veronia angustifolia is native in the US in the following states:
Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina & North Carolina.

This is a short-lived perennial named for William Vernon, an English botanist who studied plants in North America. Angustifolia comes from the Latin: "angust" meaning narrow & "foli" meaning leaf.

It blooms June through September in its native range and is very striking. It stopped me dead in my tracks the first time I saw it. The blooms are so bright and attractive, airily waving in the breeze. You can see emerging growth in the spring, consisting of a basal rosette of elliptically shaped leaves with toothed edges.This makes a beautiful showing for the back of a border, towering above smaller plants in front. Unfortunately, it is rarely offered for sale even in native nurseries, but it is easily propagated by seed. Seeds may be available through the Florida Wildflowers Growers Cooperative.

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Posted by plantladylin (Florida Zone 9b, 10a) on Feb 18, 2013 11:41 AM

Although its common name is Tall Ironweed, this native wildflower of the Southeastern U.S. only grows to 4 feet in height. It is a clump-forming plant with upright stems and many very narrow 2 to 4 inch dark green leaves. The flowers are loose-branched 5"-10" wide clusters, comsisting of small fuzzy purple flower heads. Tall Ironweed grows in habitats of sandhills, open hammocks, disturbed areas, dry pinelands, and old fields. The flowers attract many butterflies as well as hummingbirds.

With its narrow leaves and rigid upright growth habit, Vernonia angustifolia is easily distinguished from Giant Ironweed (Vernonia gigantea), which has lance-shaped leaves, can attain heights to 8 feet, and prefers moist habitats.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Some kind of Centaurea????? by flaflwrgrl Aug 20, 2014 8:52 PM 3

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