Vernonia baldwinii Western Ironweed, Baldwin's Ironweed
ver-NON-ee-ah   bald-WIN-ee-eye

Native Wild Flower Seeds and Potted Plants

Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers
 for Home Landscaping and Prairie Restoration  

Vernonia baldwinii
Western Ironweed
photo by cj  
Habitat Bloom Period Color Height
Moisture Plant Spacing Lifespan
Vernonia baldwini picture, western ironweed picture Sun June July August Purple 3 to 5
Dry to Average 18 to 36

Vernonia baldwinii Western Ironweed additional photo  

Western Ironweed Potted Plants Are Available $5.00 Each Plus Boxing/Shipping

For our other native wildflowers visit  Wildflower Seed and Potted Plant Price List

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email questions, comments, and orders to  

  Vernonia baldwinii Western Ironweed potted plants $5.00 each plus Boxing/Shipping

 email with your zip code and number of plants for shipping charge and availability on our native wildflower potted plants

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Vernonia baldwinii seed
Western Ironweed seed 

number of seeds

approximate coverage
in square feet

1 packet -    NOT Available


30 sq ft

1 ounce -     NOT Available


1,000 sq ft

1 pound -     NOT Available         


16,800 sq ft

Vernonia baldwinii Western Ironweed grows wild from Texas and Louisiana North into South Dakota and Minnesota.  It can be planted and will grow over a large portion of the US.

Vernonia = Named for William Vernon, 17th century English botanist
baldwinii = Named for Dr. William Baldwin,
              19th century physician and the initial botanist on
              Stephen Long's expedition to find the headwaters of the Missouri River

Vernonia baldwinii Western Ironweed's vivid purple flowers are effective when planted with the yellow flowers of Goldenrod in late summer and fall. They are stunning as cut flowers but the leaves should be discarded before arranging.  It is a member of the Aster family, with numerous 3/4 inch flower heads in rounded or flat topped branching clusters and a favorite nectar source for butterflies.  Vernonia baldwinii Western Ironweed plants are avoided by cattle and are often abundant in old fields and pastures.  Plant Ironweed in humus rich soil in full sun at the back of a perennial garden on naturalize in a meadow or prairie.  

Western Ironweed is also known as  Baldwin's Ironweed
Native Wild Vernonia baldwinii Western Ironweed plants occur naturally in prairies, glades, meadows, pastures, and along roadsides from South Dakota and Minnesota South to Louisiana and Texas. 
 Asteraceae (Aster family)

The map below shows areas where native Vernonia ironweed wildflower plants grow wild but it can be planted over most of the Midwest and Eastern US.  Plant in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9.

Vernonia baldwinii
 Western Ironweed


South Dakota 


Use the chart below for shipping charges on our native wildflower seeds

 to order copy and mail the order form
 email questions, comments and orders to 

email with your zip code and number of plants for shipping charges and availability on native wildflowers
Vernonia baldwinii Western Ironweed potted plants

Potted Plants are available, $5.00 each plus boxing/shipping

We accept payment by check, money order, and through Paypal

The minimum seed order amount is $10, this can be a combination of different seeds.

subtotal for flower seeds 

shipping charge for seeds

seed orders up to  $20.00    =  

 $4.00 shipping

$20.01 - $50.00    =  

 $6.00 shipping

$50.01-$100.00    =  

 $7.50 shipping

over $100.00    =    7.5 % of subtotal


 Flower Pictures  Wildflower Seed and Potted Plant Price list    Order Form   

Easyliving Wildflowers
PO Box  522
Willow Springs,  MO.  65793
Phone 417-469-2611 

We accept payment by check or money order and through PayPal

e-mail questions, comments, and orders to

Vernonia baldwinii Western Ironweed Plant distribution map complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
  ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.






































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 Prairie ironweed prefers full sun and moist fertile soil but will grow in partial sun and slightly moister or drier conditions. This plant can withstand occasional flooding for short periods of time. The foliage is not grazed by cattle or bothered by pests or disease to any significant extent.

Vernonia fasciculata is a native perennial unbranched plant 2 to 4 feet tall. The central stem is round, hairless, and white, light green, or reddish purple. The alternate leaves are up to 5" long and ½" across. They are narrowly lanceolate, narrowly ovate, or linear. Their margins are serrated, while the upper and lower leaf surfaces are hairless. The lower leaf surface also has a prominent central vein, and black dots may be present. The leaves are sessile against the stem, or they have short petioles. The central stem terminates in a flat-topped cluster of magenta compound flowers (i.e., a corymb). This flower cluster is quite dense, rather than loose and spreading. The flowering stalks may be slightly pubescent. A compound flower consists of 15-30 disk florets with a short cylinder of green bracts underneath. These bracts are appressed together like fish scales, and they are often slightly ciliate. The cylinder of bracts spans about 1/5" across. A disk floret is magenta, with 5 spreading lobes and a prominent divided style. The blooming period occurs from late summer to early fall, and lasts about a month. There is no noticeable floral scent. The flowers are replaced by achenes that have a pappus of hair-like scales. These achenes can be blown several feet from the mother plant by gusts of wind. The root system is spreading and fibrous.

Prairie Ironweed is fairly common in the Midwest and Eastern US in prairies, riverbottom prairies, marshes, sloughs along railroads, and edges of fields. Prairie Ironweed is found in wetland habitats to a greater extent than other species of Ironweeds.

The flowers attract long-tongued bees, butterflies, and skippers primarily. Other visitors include bee flies and Halictid bees. These insects seek nectar, although bees also collect pollen. Among the long-tongued bees, are such visitors as bumblebees, Epeoline cuckoo bees, Miner bees, and large Leaf-Cutting bees. An oligolectic bee of Ironweeds is Melissodes vernoniae. The caterpillars of several moths feed on Ironweed, including Grammia parthenice (Parthenice Tiger Moth) and Perigea xanthioides (Red Groundling). Caterpillars that bore into the roots or stems of Ironweed include Papaipema cerussata (Ironweed Borer Moth), Carmenta bassiformis (Eupatorium Borer Moth), and some Polygrammodes spp. (Pyralid Moths). The bitter foliage of Ironweed deters consumption by mamamalian herbivores – it is known as an 'increaser' because it is one of the last plants to be eaten in overgrazed pastures.

Additional common names for Prairie Ironweed are Smooth Ironweed and Common Ironweed. Prairie Ironweed is one of the smaller Ironweeds with a compact inflorescence and smooth hairless leaves. Other Ironweed species have hairy stems or leaves. An exception is Vernonia gigantea (Tall Ironweed), which has hairless leaves and stems upon occasion. However, Tall Ironweed has a spreading inflorescence, and it is usually a taller plant (as the name implies). The larger leaves of Tall Ironweed exceed ½" across, while the leaves of Smooth Ironweed are ½" or less. Some authorities state that Smooth Ironweed has black dots on the undersides of the leaves, but this is not always true. The species in this genus are occasionally difficult to identify because they can hybridize with each other.

ommon Name: western ironweed

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Family: Asteraceae

Native Range: Central and central southern United States

Zone: 3 to 9

Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet

Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet

Bloom Time: July to September

Bloom Description: Purple

Sun: Full sun

Water: Dry to medium

Maintenance: Low

Flower: Showy

Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates both moist and dry soils. Plants grow taller in moist soils. Overall plant height may be reduced by cutting back stems nearly to the ground in late spring. Remove flower heads before seed develops to avoid any unwanted self-seeding. Easily grown from seed.

Western ironweed (sometimes called Baldwin's ironweed) is native to Missouri where it typically occurs in dry woods, meadows, prairies, glades, fields, waste areas and along railroad tracks throughout the State. Although many of the ironweeds are indigenous to wetland areas, this species is one that is commonly found in drier soils including the Great Plains. It is a coarse, upright perennial typically growing 3-4' (infrequently to 5') tall on stiff, leafy stems which branch at the top. Composite flowers with fluffy, purple disks (rays absent) appear in flattened, loose, terminal clusters (corymbs) which bloom from late summer to fall. Rough, pointed, serrate, lance-shaped leaves (4-7" long). Flowers give way to rusty seed clusters. The source of the common name has been varyingly attributed to certain "iron-like" plant qualities including tough stems, rusty-tinged fading flowers and rusty colored seeds. Species name is in reference to William Baldwin who has been credited with first collecting the plant. Flowers are very attractive to butterflies.

No serious insect of disease problems.

Naturalize in cottage gardens, wildflower meadows, prairies or native plant gardens. Also effective as a background plant for borders.

Plants 6–10(–15) dm. Stems puberulent to ± tomentose. Leaves mostly cauline; blades elliptic to lance-ovate or lanceolate, 8–15(–18+) cm × 20–45(–75+) mm, l/w = 2–5, abaxially usually puberulent to tomentose or pannose (hairs ± erect, ± curled), seldom glabrate, resin-gland-dotted, adaxially scabrellous, glabrescent, not resin-gland-dotted. Heads in corymbiform-scorpioid arrays. Peduncles 1–25 mm. Involucres broadly campanulate to hemispheric, 4–6(–8+) × 4–7+ mm. Phyllaries 45–65+ in 5–6 series, usually puberulent (often resin-gland-dotted distally), sometimes glabrescent, margins ciliolate, the outer lance-ovate, 1–2 mm, inner oblong to lanceolate, 5–8+ mm, tips rounded-apiculate to acute (sometimes recurved). Florets (15–)20–25(–35+). Cypselae 2.5–3 mm; pappi fuscous to purplish, outer scales 25–30, 0.2–1 mm, contrasting with 35–40+, 5–7+ mm inner bristles. 2n = 34.

Flowering Jun–Nov. Disturbed places, grasslands, flood plains, forest margins, prairies; 10–1100 m; Ark., Colo., Ill., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Mich., Mo., Nebr., Okla., Tex.