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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Vernonia fasciculata (Prairie ironweed)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Vernonia fasciculata

Vernonia fasciculata Michx.

Prairie Ironweed, Common Ironweed

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: vefa2

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

The stout, unbranched, 2-4 ft. stems bears numerous lance-shaped, coarsely-toothed, dark-green leaves. Attractive floral sprays are composed of densely clustered, rose-purple flowers.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

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


USA: AR , CO , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MN , MO , MS , MT , ND , NE , NY , OH , OK , SD , WI
Canada: MB , ON , SK
Native Distribution: OH to Sask., s. to TX; introduced elsewhere
Native Habitat: Wet prairies; marshes

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil Description: Fertile, moist to wet soils.
Conditions Comments: Too aggressive for small areas. Needs competition.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Larval host for American painted lady.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

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

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Host plants for American Painted Lady larvae in Ohio
June 25, 2009
Need to know what plants to plant as host plants for American Painted lady butterflies have larve coming in mail in few days , live in Vermilion Ohio on the Lake Erie. Thank You for your knowledge Pa...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

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 on display at the following locations:

Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, The - Valhalla, NY
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-01-30
Research By: TWC Staff

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