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PlantFiles: New York Ironweed
Vernonia noveboracensis

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Vernonia (ver-NON-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: noveboracensis (no-vee-bor-uh-SEN-sis) (Info)

8 vendors have this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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6 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Mike105 On Jun 9, 2010, Mike105 from montreal
Canada wrote:

Seeded this plant this winter and have some nice seedlings which will be planted shortly, need the right location. This is a wonderful looking plant and look forward to see how it will do in my garden in Canada.

Positive Q734 On Oct 1, 2009, Q734 from Allen Park, MI wrote:

I found 4 of these listed on ebay as joe pye lol.
I still have the same 4 plants a year later, they've not reproduced or spread at all. We have thick clay soil.
Stunning plant, mine must be at least 8 ft tall. The one that gets the most sun is the tallest.

update 2012(4 yrs later) This is the 1st year I've seen new plants, which are already over 6 ft. tall. I think I'll "rehome" some of them as they are the perfect last meal for traveling butterflies in the fall. A couple of established plants are approaching 9 ft. tall.

My only gripe about this plant is that they really need to be propped up somehow if you don't want to risk them falling over after a storm. I cordoned them to the fence w/cotton rope.

Positive jneff143 On Jun 20, 2009, jneff143 from (Zone 5b) wrote:

I've seen these often in cow pastures in NE Ohio where we live. I've also seen them along the road, usually always these sightings are in deep summer. I know that the flowers dry pretty - well, actually, if you cut the flowers & bring them in the house the flowers stay pretty for a LONG time. Technically, I haven't ever dried them, but you probably could. It's such a beautiful deep purple color. The stems are impossible to break off, you almost need pruners although scissors would probably work. You would DEFINITELY want to plant this flower @ the back of your bed because the rest of the plant is just a stem & leaves all the way @ the base; also, it's pretty tall (i think about 3 feet, but i guess it depends on how much water it gets?)

Positive ccgardener On Aug 27, 2006, ccgardener from North Eastham, MA wrote:

Approximately 5 feet tall in average soil on Cape Cod. Tall and stately in center of butterfly garden - a nice contrast to Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' and a perfect color match to Buddleia 'Royal Red'

Positive melody On Aug 10, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

These plants grace the damp road ditches and meadow edges every fall here in west KY. They make a welcome splash of color just when things are starting to look tired.

Found in NH and NY, south to FL, west to AL, and north to KY and WV.

Once used by the Pioneers to treat stomach ailments.

Positive Terry On Aug 31, 2002, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

It's often seen in fields around here, but it should be cultivated in the back of the border - it has such a rich purple color in fall, and contrasts nicely with the golden hues of Rudbeckias. Definitely worth growing if you have the space - just put something sturdy in front of it so it doesn't flop about (I suspect having soil on the thin/poor side helps keep the growth in check.)

Neutral gardendragon On Aug 14, 2001, gardendragon from Ladysmith, BC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Pruning: Deadheading plants before seed set can reduce prolific seeding, which may occur particularly in moist areas. First year seedlings may be desirable, though, as they are interesting, usually short 12 to 14 inches high plants with intense purple flowers and may be more attractive than the parent plant. When grown in rich moist soil, plants can tower to 9 feet tall, too large for many perennial gardens. Plants respond to a variety of pruning methods, to reduce their height, to create fuller plants, to stagger bloom time, or to layer plantings. One such method is to cut the plants down to the ground when they reach 2 feet tall, another is to cut plants back by 1 or 2 ft when they are 3-4 ft tall.
Interesting native plant that prefers moist, slightly acidic conditions. The moister the soil the taller the plant may be.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Pelsor, Arkansas
Monroe, Georgia
Greenwood, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Benton, Kentucky
Ewing, Kentucky
Melbourne, Kentucky
Smiths Grove, Kentucky
Crofton, Maryland
Oakland, Maryland
Beverly, Massachusetts
Topsfield, Massachusetts
Allen Park, Michigan
Mount Morris, Michigan
Frenchtown, New Jersey
New York City, New York
Sag Harbor, New York
Clyde, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina
Holly Springs, North Carolina
Canton, Ohio
Williamsburg, Ohio
Jay, Oklahoma
Fairfield, Pennsylvania
Charleston, South Carolina
San Antonio, Texas
Herndon, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Orlean, Virginia
Liberty, West Virginia
Peterstown, West Virginia

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