Vernonia are a genus of shrubs in the Asteraceae family, native to South America. Some species within this genus are known as ‘ironweed’. The genus name was given after the English botanist William Vernon.
Vernonia are annuals, perennials, climbers, sub-shrubs, shrubs and trees, although only the perennial varieties are in cultivation. They have attractive slender stems, with gorgeous pale green foliage and flat branched heads of tubular purple or dark red flowers. Vernonia are best suited to flower beds and borders within a cottage or informal garden setting. You should expect to see Vernonia grow to an approximate height of 1.5-2.5m (5-8’) and a spread of 50-100cm (20-40”).
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