Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens

Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens

Vernonia 'Southern Cross'


Vernonia, or Ironweed, is not commonly offered in the perennial trade, but it is a native perennial worth noting. ‘Southern Cross’ breaks the mold of the typical tall and massive Vernonia species by producing a relatively short, vase-like habit of long, thin leaves, similar in look to Amsonia hubrichtii. Brent Horvath of Intrinsic Perennial Gardens made the discovery of this hybrid Ironweed, found among Vernonia lettermanii seedlings (other parent unknown). The leaves are broader than its parent, up to ½in across. ‘Southern Cross’ can be enjoyed for its attractive, textured deep green foliage throughout the summer. It will extend the season of color when it comes into bloom in late summer, producing an airy dome of small purple flowers, similar in look to Asters. Like Asters, ‘Southern Cross’ prefers to grow in full sun.

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4-5 ft


4-5 ft

Hardiness Zone:

4 - 9

Ironweed Growing and Maintenance Tips

Grows best in dry soil. Although it can handle brief periods of moisture, this plant requires well-drained soil to thrive.

Vernonia 'Southern Cross' Characteristics


  • Specimen
  • Cut Flower / or Foliage
  • Drought Tolerant

Critter Resistance

  • Deer Resistant
  • Rabbit Resistant


  • Sun Tolerant

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Medium

Nature Attraction

  • Butterflies
  • Bees

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Late Summer
  • Fall

Soil Moisture Needs

  • Dry
  • Average