A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants
Giant Ironweed, Tall Ironweed
Vernonia gigantea (Vernonia altissima)
Full to part sun, moderately wet to medium moisture level, rich soil preferred but not fussy, moderately acid pH. 5-10 feet height, blooms late summer into fall, magenta purple flowers, will freely self-sow.
Germination Code: C(90). Easy from seed.
Native Region: Statewide
Very adaptable plant with conspicuous flowers. Plants rival goldenrod for attention in the fall. Can be cut back up until July 4 to produce a shorter but still blooming plant. It can be weedy or invasive. Readily self-hybridizes with other Vernonia species which can make plant hard to identify in the field. Common name refers to the toughness of the stem. Attracts butterflies, bees and birds.