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Native Plant Database

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Vernonia gigantea (Giant ironweed)
Smith, R.W.

Vernonia gigantea

Vernonia gigantea (Walter) Trel.

Giant ironweed, Tall Ironweed

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: VEGI

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Tall erect stem bears deep purple-blue flower heads in loose terminal clusters.

The common name refers to the toughness of the stem. The genus name honors the English botanist William Vernon, who did fieldwork in North America. At least 6 additional species are found in the East; some were once used for treating stomach ailments.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit:

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MI , MO , MS , NC , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: New York south to Georgia; west to Louisiana; north to Missouri, Illinois, and Michigan.
Native Habitat: Damp, rich soil.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Conditions Comments: Very adaptable, hardy.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Bees
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FAC FAC FAC FAC FAC
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store

Bibliography

* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Vernonia gigantea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Vernonia gigantea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Vernonia gigantea

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2012-12-09
Research By: TWC Staff

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