Summer's Swan Song Hybrid Ironweed (Vernonia 'Summer's Swan Song' PP#28556) attracts all types of pollinators including bees and monarch butterflies with its profuse early fall display of nectar-rich flowers. This vigorous native hybrid has dark purple flowers and attractive olive-green foliage held on red stemmed tips. A nicely compact Ironweed, reaching only 36" tall, 40" wide.
Summer's Swan Song Hybrid Ironweed (Vernonia 'Summer's Swan Song' PP28556) has been a star performer in the Chicago Botanic Garden trials. 'Summer's Swan Song' colors the garden with deep-purple flowers from early to mid-fall, attracting bees and butterflies (including migrating monarchs). The stem tips are deep red and hold purple-tinged olive-green leaves. This native hybrid is the smallest of the Ironweeds, topping out at only 36” in height, and well suited to smaller-space gardens. It's longer branches form interlocking supports that hold the stems upright, even in wind. Altogether, this is a very lovely and ornamental Ironweed. The plant likes moderate moisture and does well in a wide range of soils including compost-enriched clay-loam. Plant 'Summer's Swan Song' with the burgundy-leaved Shenandoah Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah'). Bred by Dr. Jim Ault of the Chicago Botanic Garden. (36” tall x 40” wide)
Item Package Size
Plant - 5" Deep Pot
Summer's Swan Song Hybrid Ironweed
Vernonia Summer's Swan Song PP#28,556
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Morning Sun & Afternoon Shade, Full Shade
Early to mid fall
Average Soil, Sandy Soil, Low Fertility Soil, Well-Drained Soil
Vernonia (Ironweed) is big genus of New World wildflowers, with most species native to North America. Members of the Aster family, they are important late season sources of nectar for butterflies. Preferred growing conditions:
Plant in most soil types including clay.
Best positioned in a full sun to partial shade locations.
Mulch with common mulch materials in dry Western climates. Leave un-mulched in moister Eastern climates.
Water regularly the first growing season to establish the plant. Most species and varieties like moderately moist to wet soils and should receive regular irrigation in arid climates. Rainfall is generally sufficient in moist Eastern climates.
Vernonia lindheimeri v. leucophylla is xeric and should be only given occasional deep watering when conditions are dry.
Deadhead the flowers when blooming is finished. Many species from the Midwest and Eastern US will re-seed aggressively in moist soils. Deadheading is helpful to reduce volunteer seedlings.
Fertilize lightly in the fall with Yum Yum Mix.
Leave standing of the winter and cut back hard in early to mid-spring.
Tall species may need staking unless stem tips are pinched back in late spring/early summer to thicken up the plant's stem structure.
View more Planting Guides, or download our complete Planting Guide for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.
No longer available this season.
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