Vernonia lettermanii Iron Butterfly
Iron Butterfly Ironweed
Details24-36" x 18-24" wide. Here is a distinctive, new-to-cultivation native perennial that provides both flower color and foliar texture in the garden. Selected as a more compact version of a little known wildflower species from Arkansas, Iron Butterfly is a densely branched perennial with finely textured, almost thread-like foliage and bright violet-purple flowers capping the stems in late summer-early fall. A rich source of natural nectar, the plant is extremely attractive to butterflies.
|Common Name||Iron Butterfly Ironweed|
|Botanical Name||Vernonia lettermanii Iron Butterfly|
|Zones||4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun|
|Mature Height||24-36" tall|
|Mature Spread||18-24" wide|
|Ships As||Potted Plant|
|Planting Time||Spring / Summer, Fall|
|Soil Type||Low Fertility Soil, Well-Drained Soil|
|Soil Moisture||Drought Resistant / Waterwise|
|Amount of Rain||10 to 20", 20 to 30", 30 to 40" (with care)|
|Special Groups||High Country Gardens Introduction|
|Ideal Region||Anywhere In The US|
|Neonicotinoid-Free||Yes - Learn More|
|Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada||No|
- 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. Special comments:
- 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.
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Q & A
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USDA Hardiness Planting Zones
To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.
- If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
- If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).
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