New York Ironweed


In our yard, we have a let it live policy for plants we can’t identify. It isn’t uncommon for the birds to leave a plant behind that we didn’t plant. So we let itgrow until we can figure out if it fits into our yard – native plants that are good for wildlife.

About 5 years ago, we noticed a single plant growing up in the corner of the backyard and it was growing fast. It must have liked its location a lot, because it kept growing. First, it grew higher than the fence and then it grew taller than me. And it started to show beautiful purple flowers.

We struggled to identify the plant, but on a well-timed trip to Meadowlark Gardens we found the plant and an identification sign! New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) is a wonderful native perennial from the Aster family. It blooms in late summer to fall. It loves full sun and significant water. It is a strong self seeder – our yard now contains very many New York Ironweed plants.

Butterflies love finding the late source of nectar and we love the color and variety it adds to our yard.