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Illinois Native Plant Guide - Common Iron Weed - Pages 156-157

Illinois Native Plant Guide

Common Iron Weed
Vernonia fasciculata

Preferred Water Depth and Inundation Tolerance

Wet prairie, sedge meadow, and shallow marsh species. Species tolerates inundation of 2-3 inches early in the season.

Wildlife Value

Serves as a nectar source for insects.

Application/Zone

Stoloniferous habit stabilizes upper shorelines and upland slope buffers.

Availability, Establishment, and Maintenance

  • The germination percentage for Common Iron Weed is very low which may be because it produces many nonviable seeds. Germination rates can be increased by sowing stored seed in a seed frame outdoors in June. If soil temperature is consistently warm, germination and seedling growth are very rapid.
  • Transplant seedlings to individual containers when a rosette-like cluster of 3 to 4 four leaves develop and then move plants to the site when roots fill containers.
  • For cuttings, take 4-6 inch stem cuttings in June or July. Root in a 50/50 mix of peat moss and sand. They should be well-rooted in 4 to 5 weeks and may then be transplanted into 3 to 4 inch pots. When well established, they may be transplanted on site or overwintered indoors in the pots for spring planting.
  • Cuttings may not be necessary because establishment from seed has been observed in restorations.
  • Seed availability may be sporadic due to an insect pest.

Common Iron Weed
Vernonia fasciculata

Mature Height
Up to 6 feetCommon Iron Weed

Plant Type
Perennial herb

Indicator Status
Facultative Wet

pH
5.6-7

Nutrient Load Tolerance
Low to moderate

Salt Tolerance
Not available

Siltation Tolerance
Moderate

Flowering Color and Time
Purple
July-August

Light Preference
Full sun

Seeding Rate
.06 - .19 lbs/acre

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