White Lightning Ironweed
Vernonia noveboracensis 'White Lightning'
White Lightning Ironweed flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Plant Height: 4 feet
Flower Height: 6 feet
Spacing: 3 feet
Hardiness Zone: 4
Other Names: New York Ironweed
This variety is right at home in a meadow; long blooming masses of creamy-white flowers sway in the breeze in late summer; great for borders or massed as an accent; very undemanding and drought tolerant
White Lightning Ironweed has masses of beautiful ray-like plumes of creamy white flowers at the ends of the stems from late summer to mid fall, which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its serrated pointy leaves remain green in color with pointy creamy white spines throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
White Lightning Ironweed is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.
White Lightning Ironweed is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
White Lightning Ironweed will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity extending to 6 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 4 feet. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 3 feet apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
White Lightning Ironweed is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.