Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Missouri Ironweed

Missouri Ironweed

Vernonia missurica

Full sun; moderately wet to moderately dry moisture level; tolerates a range of soils including fertile loam, clay loam and rocky soils; strongly acid to neutral pH.  3-6 feet height, magenta purple flowers, blooms late summer into early fall, spreads primarily by rhizomes but also slowly by self-seeding.

Germination Code:  C(60).  Seedlings have low vigor.

Native Region:  Occurs in 12 counties, limited to West and to Middle Tennessee

Missouri Ironweed is one of the showiest of the ironweeds. However, not especially ornamental except when in bloom. Easy to grow and low maintenance. Somewhat drought resistant but wilts under severe drought. Native to moist open ground along streams, wooded swamps, low meadows, and edges of lakes but also occurs in waste places such as overgrazed pastures and vacant lots. Easiest way to identify this species from other ironweeds is the profuse hairiness of stems and underside of leaves. This species tends to hybridize with other ironweed species, making identification in the field difficult.  Attracts butterflies, bees, moths and birds. One of the best pollinator plants for late summer butterflies.


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