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Audubon Native Prairie Ironweed and native birds
Native Prairie Ironweed purple flower
Native Regions map for Prairie Ironweed
White Throated Sparrow
American Goldfinch
House Finch
Audubon Native Prairie Ironweed and native birds
Native Prairie Ironweed purple flower
Native Regions map for Prairie Ironweed
White Throated Sparrow
American Goldfinch
House Finch



  • Showy and fluffy purple flowers appear in mid summer and last into fall
  • In fall, the flowers transition to rusty seed clusters - a favorite of goldfinches and sparrows
  • After the first round of blooms have faded, encourage a repeat performance by shearing them off
  • Plant this stunning perennial in your native landscapes, as an informal border plant or near your patio to enjoy it all season long
  • Pollinator friend and deer resistant 
  • 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 trees and 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

    Growth Facts

    • Hardiness Zone: 4-9
    • Mature Height: 2-6' tall
    • Mature Width: 2-6' wide
    • Exposure: Full Sun
    • Spacing: 2-6' apart

    Audubon® Native Prairie Ironweed

    Bower & Branch Trees and Plants

    Audubon® Plants for Birds: Vernonia fasciculata

    Regular price Still Growing
    Shipping included
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    Why plant Audubon® Native 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 Audubon® Native Prairie Ironweed 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.

    How To Plant Audubon® Native Prairie Ironweed

    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.

    How To Water

    Water twice weekly for the first 3-5 weeks; then water weekly for the remainder of the year until winter. When you water, water very slowly and very thoroughly. The water needs to reach to the bottom of the root ball and that takes time. Watering needs may be altered due to extreme weather conditions.

    How To Fertilize

    Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late year. Continue this for three years to get your plant well established.

    How To Prune

    Each fall, just before winter sets in clean up the previous years foliage and compost it. Be sure your perennials are mulched well for winter protection. Two inches of an organic mulch will do the job. Consider leaving the plant debris in place through the winter and doing your clean up on the weather warms in the spring. While it doesn't make things neat and tidy, the debris provides overwintering protection for insects, their eggs and pupae including our native Viceroy butterfly.

    Planting Zones

    Hardiness Zone: 4-9

    How Does Shipping Work?

    Size Small (AAA), Medium (A2A), and Large (AA) plants (our Treelings, Shrubs, Bushes, and Perennials) will be shipped directly to your home by a common carrier. Ships in a plant-safe designed box within 5-7 business days.

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    Bower & Branch guarantees customer satisfaction within all product groups and sizes. If for any reason you are not satisfied with the product or experience, you have 90 days from the original date of purchase to request a replacement of the purchased product(s).


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    - Phone: 866-873-3888

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