Photo of Verbesina alternifolia

Verbesina alternifolia


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Clusters of perky yellow flowers bloom in late summer on tall stems.

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Large mounding clusters of yellow flowers feature drooping petals that encircle a central disk. The flowers sit atop tall stems and bloom for 1-2 months, between August and September. The stem is usually ‘winged’ with leaf tissue. Plants can reach heights of 4-5 feet. Wingstem grows in full sun to light shade and prefers moist, fertile soil that is high in organic matter. Wingstem reseeds readily in the garden and can spread aggressively. Mingle with New York Ironweed that grows in similar conditions and has clusters of purple flowers that bloom at the same time.

Wildlife Value:  The flowers support a great diversity of bees and wasps. It is visited primarily by long-tongued bees, including bumblebees, but also short-tongued bees, butterflies, and skippers. Birds eat the seeds. It is also a host plant for Silvery Checkerspot butterfly (Chlosyne nycteis), Summer Azure butterfly (Celastrina neglecta) and Gold Moth (Basilodes pepita).

Plant Details:

Other Scientific Names: Actinomeris alternifolia

Other Common Names: Yellow Ironweed

Plant Type: Flower, Perennial

New Jersey Native: Yes

Bloom Times: Late Summer to Fall

Bloom Colors: Yellow

Deer Resistance: High

Attracts Pollinators and Wildlife: Bees and Other Pollinators, Butterflies, Birds

Salt Tolerance: Unknown

Hardiness Zone: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b

Physiographic Region: All Regions in NJ

Soil Characteristics

Soil Type: Loam, Organic, Sandy, Clay

Soil Moisture: Dry, Moist

Soil pH: Slightly Acidic, Neutral

Light Needs of Plant

Optimal Light: Full Sun

Light Range: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Water Needs of Plant

Soil Moisture: Dry, Moist

Drought Tolerance: Medium

Size and Growth Rate

Height: 4 - 8 ft

Spread: 2 - 6 ft

Growth Rate: Fast