Giant Ironweed (Vernonia gigantea) is a gorgeous New York state native species plant that’s listed as endangered and rare in NYS. It is notably difficult to find for sale, even at specialty native plant nurseries. NY Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) is another native Ironweed species that’s easier to locate for purchase at nurseries. Both Giant Ironweed and NY Ironweed are both excellent replacements for non-native, invasive Butterfly Bush (Buddleia). The Vernonia species are butterfly magnets that outshine Buddleia as a source of nectar for butterflies and other pollinators. Giant Ironweed often grows to 13′ in height, so it may not be ideal for all garden sites. But where there’s space for it, Giant Ironweed definitely shines as a rare beauty in Saratoga, Albany and Niskayuna gardens.
Also called Vernonia gigantea, this plant isn’t for everyone. But people who have chosen to love this plant are rewarded with some rare beauty… and a lot of butterfly action!
Want to try your hand at growing Giant Vernonia in your garden? We might have some in stock in our nursery.
Want the Jessecology road crew to plant you a butterfly garden with Ironweed, Joe Pye, New York Aster, Big Bluestem Grass and other native wildflowers? Get on our consultation list!