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MinervaFlora - September Update

By: Lisa Craddock

This month, we are highlighting Ironweed. So named because of its tough stem!

LATIN: Vernonia

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!


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