Prairie ironweed is a perennial plant that is native to the eastern parts of the US where it grows in locations that are consistently moist and bright. It bears bright purple 3/4 inch flowers in late summer to mid-fall providing an unusual pop of tall color in the late season. Prairie ironweed grows to a height and width of about six feet in sunny conditions, and slightly less in shadier spots. It can become weedy, so care should be taken in siting it especially in smaller gardens. However, because of its height it is suitable for borders, screens, and for native and cottage gardens. Since Vernonia fasciculata has a number of common names (prairie, common, and smooth ironweed) it is advisable to check the botanical name before purchasing.
In an evaluation trial of ironweeds conducted at the Chicago Botanic Garden, prairie ironweed received a fair rating for growing in local conditions.
July - August, September - October
Screen/Hedge, Bedding or Border
Attracts Birds, Attracts Butterflies, Resistant To Deer, Native to Midwest