As the name suggests, ironweeds have an ironclad constitution. of the member-only content library. Like other ironweeds, though, the habit is a little sparse the first year or two. Zone 3. Leaf size enhances the bigness of some ironweeds; for example, giant ironweed tops out at 8 feet tall, but the 10-inch leaves make it seem even larger. The 9-inch-long, grayish green leaves are impressive in size, and a hint of purple in the topmost ones and stems is a nice treat. Summer is hot, and we’re constantly worried about if we…, As the growing season winds down, are you tempted to “throw in the trowel” and leave your vegetable garden cleanup until next spring? Color(s): Purple. Butterfly bushes' (Buddleia spp.) It’s less likely to flop than most other variegated autumn sedums. Some flowerheads measure a foot across or more. Bright violet flowers sprout from plump purple buds, putting on one of the best shows of late summer I’ve seen. The upright habit is handsome and narrow—well, at 50 inches wide, what passes for narrow for an ironweed. Clusters of finely petaled flowers, in dense clusters, top a 5-7’ clump-forming plant. So, how can you tell the two apart in a store display? There are dozens of other excellent varieties. Deer resistant. Its dark green, willow-like leaves are wider, so the unknown parent certainly had broader leaves. The fact is no one knows why early North American colonists gave this plant its common name. Bright purple flowers in heads up to an inch across are plentiful from late summer to early fall. Thanks to climate change, in most regions autumns are longer and warmer than ever and that has extended the flowering season well into November, often even December. Soft, needle-shaped leaves cover the stems from top to bottom, giving the plant a shaggy appearance, which can be confused with another Arkansas native, spring-blooming threadleaf bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii, Zones 5 to 8). All have the same fuzzy purple flowers and are best told apart by their height and foliage characteristics. Next to its giant cousins, ‘Southern Cross’ is almost a dwarf—expected to be only 4 feet tall and wide. Both leaves and flowers hold on right through the winter into spring, offering six months or more of interest. Give this one moister soil than the others or supply a bit of shade: in the wild, it tends to be a woodland species and doesn’t like to dry out. New York ironweed is a robust wildflower with saturated-violet and narrow petaled flowers. Fall is often a favorite time of year for gardeners. Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’. The leaves of Tall Ironweed are on average 2-2.5" wide and up to 10" long. Threadleaf Ironweed. New York ironweed had the distinction of remaining rust free during our trial—an attribute shared only with narrowleaf ironweed. Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil but adaptable to drier and/or gravelly soil, Bloom Time: Mid- to late summer through mid- to late fall. The Wood’s series of dwarf asters is similar, but comes in other colors. Sun:    Full Sun, Part ShadeMoisture:    Medium, Medium-WetHeight:    6 feetBlooms:    July, Aug, SeptColor:    PurpleSpacing:    2-3′Zones:    3-9Benefits:    Butterflies, Pollinators, Deer Resistant. Seed Heads: Deadheading reduces unwanted seedlings; however, if left in place the seedheads add extra interest in late fall and in winter. Cuba Center's website, you accept our use of cookies. That’s nice to know, because the information on the minimum cold treatment for seed X is not always available, especially for seed you harvested yourself. It is hardy to zone 3. It was a small way to say thank you for the efforts…. ‘Summer’s Swan Song’ is the smallest of the hybrid cultivars right now, topping out at a compact 36 inches tall and 40 inches wide. ‘Iron Butterfly’ is showing up in catalogs and garden centers more and more, attesting to its great qualities and gardeners’ desire for something different. Eight of the species were wild-collected; we observed variable traits among plants within these species. They have larger flowers in a much wider color range than wild asters. Purple flowers in large heads to 1¼ inches wide look like pincushions atop the tall, stiff stems in late summer. Source:, & mzayat. It grows well in the flower border or native meadow garden with Andropogon virginicus, Helianthus angustifolius, Conoclinium coelestinum, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, Liatris spicata, and Helianthus microcephalus. The latter offers distinctly coppery foliage color in fall. However, garden centers and plant nurseries  usually offer both garden and florist types.

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