- Hardiness Zone: 4-9
- Mature Height: 2-6' tall
- Mature Width: 2-6' wide
- Exposure: Full Sun
- Spacing: 2-6' apart
- May Benefit & Attract: Finches & Sparrows
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow.
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- All Audubon® branded plants are grown 100% Neonic-free by Bower & Branch, making these plants safer for the birds and safer for the environment.
- Hand Selected, Fresh from the Grower
- Ships in a plant-safe designed box
Why the Audubon® Prairie Ironweed?
A must for moist meadows and a delight in informal borders, too! Prairie Ironweed, a.k.a. Smooth Ironweed, will bring rosy-purple flowers to your landscape in late summer, and along with them, gorgeous butterflies. Some of our most cherished species, like monarchs, painted ladies, giant swallowtails, black swallowtails, and tiger swallowtails adore Ironweed’s blossoms. In fall, the flowers become fluffy, buff-colored seedheads, and goldfinches, House Finches, and Song Sparrows will arrive to pick at the seeds. Plant a patch near your patio or picture window, so you can enjoy the blossoms and the great wildlife-watching each year.
Often growing in concert with Goldenrod, the purple buttons of Prairie Ironweed, along with the yellow plumes of Goldenrod, paint a classic picture of warm, late-summer days over much of the nation’s midsection. Butterflies flit lazily from flower to flower. Other insects rely on Ironweed, too. Many native bees relish the nectar and pollen they offer, including one species of long-horned bee that uses only Ironweed pollen to feed its young. Quite a few caterpillars are reared on this plant’s foliage as well, including those of the variegated fritillary and the American painted lady butterfly.
How to use in the landscape?
One particularly striking insect that Prairie Ironweed attracts is the parthenice tiger moth. You can recognize it by its black and buff upper wings, which are decorated with a crackle pattern, and its contrasting lower wings, which are painted a warm crimson-orange color. Ironweed is the preferred food for its young.
Why Bower & Branch?
We do the hard part. Our trees and plants are grown and cared for by only the best, local growers for years before they find their forever home in your landscape. Bower & Branch is known for having hard-to-find, substantial sizes and selection. The quality of our trees and plants are consistent in health and vigor—always ready for immediate impact in your garden and instant curb appeal. We believe in empowering homeowners with the truth about strong, healthy and structurally sound plants that are grown to perform in the ground after they leave the nursery for home delivery, always fresh inventory from the grower
Audubon is devoted to protecting birds and the places they need, while Bower & Branch is devoted to the growth of true native trees and plants–no cultivars or hybrids. Together, we strive to unite communities in conservation and inspire individuals to cultivate a better world for birds starting in their own backyards, balconies, or patios. By guiding and recommending trees and plants truly native and beneficial to your region, we can really start to make a difference.
What is the definition of Native?
“In the United States, a native plant is defined as one that was naturally found in a particular area before European colonization. Native plants are the foundation of a region’s biodiversity, providing essential food sources and shelter for birds, especially those threatened by the changing climate. Since native plants are adapted to local precipitation and soil conditions, they generally require less upkeep, therefore helping the environment and saving you time, water, and money.” – The National Audubon Society
Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program.
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Hardiness Zone: 4-9
Mature Height: 2-6' tall
Mature Width: 2-6' wide
Exposure: Full Sun
Spacing: 2-6' apart
How To Plant
Prairie Ironweed is an undemanding Spirit that does best in full sun or very light shade. It prefers soils that are on the moist to wet side. Water weekly during dry spells and mulch the rootzone to conserve moisture. Ironweed’s wiry stems are self-supporting and should not need staking. Leave the seedheads up through the winter for the birds to enjoy, cutting them down in early spring to make way for fresh new growth. Plants may reseed in the garden, but not so much that they become a problem. Deer tend to leave Ironweed alone.
Hardiness Zone: 4-9