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Category: Important to Bees

Plants and flowers that are used by bees are becoming more important as environmental pressure threatens many bee colonies. These plants will help you be part of human activity in the landscape that is beneficial to other species that inhabit our world. Environmental responsibility starts at home.

Vernonia gigantea – Ironweed: Native. Purple. Tall.

Known as tall ironweed or giant ironweed, perennial Vernonia gigantea is big, purple, and native. A member of the aster family, ironweed can grow seven feet and taller in a season before finally blooming late July to September.

giant ironweed
Vernonia gigantea – a native ironweed that is a solid late season perennial.

Ironweed in the landscape
Being honest, I have whacked ironweed back harshly on more than one occasion, a half-hearted effort at getting rid of it. It’s so big and a bit coarse. Surrounded by more genteel plants one might think the last thing needed is a great big purple plant. Thankfully ironweed bears its name for a reason (it is tough), and I am unfailingly grateful for it when September arrives.

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