Vernonia 'Southern Cross' Ironweed



Vernonia x lettermanii 'Southern Cross' is a relatively short, vase-shaped, hybrid variety growing only 3'-4' tall, with simple, narrow leaves on stiff, upright stems. It is topped in fall by showy, flat-topped clusters of bright purple, fringe-like flowers that create an airy dome of color.

Vernonia is a widespread North American native perennial that is found in most of the United States east of the Rockies. V. lettermanii is found in Oklahoma and Arkansas. The other parent(s) of this cross is unknown. With its fine foliage and upright stems, 'Southern Cross' resembles Amsonia hubrichtii when not in bloom.

Vernonia 'Southern Cross' prefers full sun and average, well-drained, fertile to poor soil. It is drought tolerant once established.


  • Common Names: Ironweed
  • Zones: 4-9
  • Light Requirements: Full Sun to Light Shade
  • Soil Preference: Average, well-drained
  • Height at Maturity: 54
  • Width at Maturity: 48
  • Bloom Color: Purple
  • Bloom Time: Late summer, early fall

Special Features

  • Attracts: Butterflies.
  • Tolerates: Clay Soil.
  • Other Features:

Care and Growing Tips

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Shipping Info

Spring 2023 Shipping Schedule:

Zones 9, 10: Starting Mon. March 20th
Zone 8: Starting Mon. March 27th
Zone 7: Starting Mon. April 3rd
Zone 6: Starting Mon. April 17th
Zone 5: Starting Mon. May 1st
Zones 2, 3, 4: Starting Mon. May 8th

If you'd like to receive your plants now, you can request it in the 'shipping requests' box on the order or email us. (Please note that we will not ship dormant plants, and we do not offer any sort of guarantee for plants overwintering.)

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We ship via UPS & USPS (the Post Office), and their ship rates are automatically generated through our site. We do not profit on shipping costs. We are working with these providers to get our customers the best rates possible.

All ship times are subject to change if extreme weather conditions are present here at the nursery or at the shipping destination.

Please note: Depending on the time of year, the foliage of the plants may be trimmed to fit into our shipping boxes. This could delay the flowering of the plant, but many perennials actually benefit from being cut back.

We are currently not able to ship to Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and outside of the US.