Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Verbena on a Stick or New York Ironweed?

Butterfly Gardens need a tall thin plant with tiny purple flowers at the top to act as a scrim to other plants and attract butterflies and beneficials. Verbena bonairensis is one; Vernonia noveboracensis is another.
Verbena bonariensis just visible at upper left corner with corn poppies,
larkspur and Mexican hats in  my butterfly meadow garden bed.
Verbena bonariensis is commonly known as 'Verbena on a Stick'

New York Ironweed in the wild butterfly garden.
Vernonia noveboracensis is commonly known as 'New York Ironweed'

They could easily be mistaken for one another without a guide.

Verbena on a Stick with Swallowtail butterfly.
Verbena on a Stick is a native plant of the Verbenaceae family.

New York Ironweed in the wild garden. Dry sticks are last year's plants.
New York Ironweed is native to the US and is of the Aster family.

So, which will you plant? I scatterered seeds of Verbena on a Stick in my home garden.
New York Ironweed grows naturally here in wild areas along fences and in pastures.
The two plants seem equally popular with my butterflies.

A video peek at butterflies in the wild garden.


  1. I don't think I know either of these. Thanks for the information. Love your wildflower meadow!

  2. I was surprised at the amount of Verbena on a Walking Stick I saw while we were looking for property here in SC. Amazing! I have neither, though I like the Ironweed a lot better, not so aggresive, unfortunately in VA it was not salt tolerant.

  3. My v. bonariensis didn't return as promised. I guess I can start anew with more seeds scattered.

    It would be good for my wild (naturalized) front ditch.

  4. I've never heard of either of these flowers...but your meadow garden looks lovely.

  5. I love your butterfly meadow! I have always wanter a wildflower meadow with a look simiar to yours. Maybe one day... I grow Verbena bonariensis through roses to hide its "sticks".

  6. I planted Verbena on a stick last year and love it as do the butterflies! This year I planted some french marigolds at the base and love the way they look together.

  7. I've heard of Ironweed but not verbena on a stick. Always new plants to enjoy! I've been purchasing more seeds lately, bachelors buttons, brachycome, love in a mist. I'm in the mood for blue it seems.

  8. I have allowed stick verbena to go everywhere and then I just pull out the ones that are out of place. I'm starting to get big mass plantings of it and let other self-sowers do the same around it.

    I planted a vernonia fasciculata last year and hope to have seedlings from it. I added more Joe Pye this year as it was truly a butterfly magnet last year.

    Somehow, I think I've got a showy milkweed in my garden. My son, the archaeologist, had gathered some seeds, but I didn't know he planted them for me! I'll see if it is truly milkweed...the leaves and buds look like it...very wide, unlike the tuberosa and the incarnata milkweeds.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

Google+ Followers