Vernonia Iron Butterfly


Note: This is an archive page preserved for informational use.
Cultural and Growing Info is provided below.

Midwest Native Pollinator
Fine textured foliage like Amsonia, with long needles from a central stem. Magenta purple flower clusters dance above the foliage in late summer. A super 'texture' plant for the border; the flowers are a favorite nectar source for butterflies. Very tolerant of poor dry soil conditions.



Plant Type Perennials

Species lettermanii

Height Medium 30-36"

Spacing Plant 3' apart

Bloom Time Late Summer to Early Fall

Sun / Shade Full Sun to Mostly Sunny

Zones 4-9

Soil Type Normal, Sandy, Clay

Water Needs Low

Sold In Plantable Pots (3.5x3.5x4")

Special Features

  • Attracts Butterflies
  • Hot Dry Site Tolerant
  • Humidity Tolerant
  • OK in Containers

Vernonia General Information

Vernonia are well-branched with prolific late season blooming to add vibrant color to the border. Iron Butterfly comes from Dr. Allan Armitage's trials at the University of Georgia. Drought tolerant, full sun plant is a butterfly magnet. Idaho has restricted all potted plant material from being shipped into Idaho at this time.

Vernonia Plant Care

Prefers humus-rich soil with good drainage but will tolerate a variety of soils, even dry and rocky ones. Can tolerate brief periods of flooding. Can be divided and transplanted late fall or early spring. Can be cut back by 1/2 in midsummer to control height. Will self sow.

Plantable Pots

Our plants are grown in 3.5x3.5x4” plantable pots. Made from 100% biodegradable coconut husk fibers (coir), these pots have tremendous advantages over plastic pots. With better air exchange, this "breathable" pot fosters robust root growth and reduces transplant shock since you can plant the pots directly in the ground. The pot naturally becomes part of the soil on its own over time—no composting required—and since they're made from a renewable resource that requires very little energy, they're earth-friendly too!

100% Guarantee

We offer a 100% unconditional guarantee for all our perennials to reach you in good condition and to grow. If you're not satisfied, we'll reship or refund immediately. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions or concerns—we share your passion for gardening and want your new plants to thrive in your border!

Shipping Details

We use custom, earth-friendly packaging to make sure your order arrives in great condition, and we ship based on the best planting time for your growing zone (see the approximate dates below), unless otherwise indicated at checkout. If you wish, you can indicate a specific ship date during checkout.


  • Zone 3, 4: Early to Mid May
  • Zone 5: Late April to Early May
  • Zone 6: Mid to Late April
  • Zone 7: Early to Mid April
  • Zone 8: Late March to Early April
  • Zone 9, 10: Late March


  • Zone 2, 3, 4: Early September
  • Zone 5: Early to Mid September
  • Zone 6: Mid September
  • Zone 7: Mid to Late September
  • Zone 8, 9, 10: Late September to Early October