By: Lisa Craddock
This month, we are highlighting Ironweed. So named because of its tough stem!
ENVIRONMENT: Prefers rich, moist, acidic soil. Full sun to part shade.
DESCRIPTION: A native 5-8' tall with lanceolate leaves and showy rounded clusters of fuzzy-looking purple flowers topping the erect stalk. It blooms in August and September. Self-fertilizing.
WILDLIFE: Good for butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. Larval host to the American Lady butterfly and the Ironweed Borer Moth. Birds eat the seeds but this weed is deer resistant.
MEDICINALLY: Ironweed is traditionally used for a host of maladies including birthing pain, sore throat, and even malaria.
MANAGEMENT: Nip seed heads to stop self seeding.
FUN FACTS: For short plants, prune to 2' in June. Was named the 2004 North Carolina Wildflower of the Year!