Vernonia Species, New York Ironweed, Vein-Leaf Hawkweed

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)
Synonym:Vernonia harperi
Synonym:Vernonia praealta
Synonym:Vernonia rugeliana
Synonym:Vernonia tomentosa



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Dark Green


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Pelsor, Arkansas

Monroe, Georgia

Greenwood, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Warren, Indiana

Benton, Kentucky

Ewing, Kentucky

Melbourne, Kentucky

Smiths Grove, Kentucky

Crofton, Maryland

Oakland, Maryland

Princess Anne, Maryland

Beverly, Massachusetts

Topsfield, Massachusetts

Allen Park, Michigan

Mount Morris, Michigan

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Croton On Hudson, New York

Ithaca, New York

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

Honey Brook, Pennsylvania

Charleston, South Carolina

Rock Hill, South Carolina

San Antonio, Texas

Herndon, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Orlean, Virginia

Liberty, West Virginia

Peterstown, West Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 14, 2020, 4wolf43 from Princess Anne, MD wrote:

I had been seeing this plant growing along the road side where there is a small gutter or ditch. It was about half a mile from my house in the country. I was wishing it to be closer and I think it was last year it is on my property where I can see it from my yard. They are more like 3 to 4 feet tall. They are very pretty. I am in Somerset County on the Delmarva Peninsula in Maryland, Zone 7.


On Aug 9, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

t is a good native perennial of eastern North America that is very useful for pollinators. I see it growing wild in meadows, usually moist or draining wet, in se Pennsylvania. It is sold by native plant nurseries for naturalistic landscapes. I don't of it being sold in conventional nurseries. I bought a Tall Ironweed, Vernonia altissima, from Prairie Nursery in Westfield, WI, for my backyard prairie garden that does well but needs staking.


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.


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.


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?)


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'


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.


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.)


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... read more