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Wingstem (Yellow Ironweed)
Wingstem (Yellow Ironweed)
Wingstem (Yellow Ironweed)
Wingstem (Yellow Ironweed)

Wingstem (Yellow Ironweed)

Regular price $3.75 Sale

Verbesina alternifolia

Origin: Western Minnesota

Improvement status: Wild

Seeds per packet: ~20


Life cycle: Perennial

Wingstem, also called yellow ironweed, frostweed, or Indian tobacco, is a charming native perennial wildflower standing tall at up to 6-8 ft. Its pretty yellow flowers with often irregularly spaced petals look like a Dr. Seuss version of a daisy or a yellow coneflower. This plant has special value for various native bumblebees and butterflies (though short-tongued insects like most wasps and flies can't reach its nectar). It's also a host plant for the silvery checkerspot butterfly, summer azure butterfly, and gold moth. Birds feast on eat the seeds in winter, but deer seem to have no interest in the leaves.

In addition to being an excellent native perennial choice for your garden, wingstem is a veritable pharmacopoeia too. It's been demonstrated to be highly effective as against parasitic worms, and it's also reported to have antimicrobial, diuretic, laxative, and emetic effects, and to have been used as an eye medicine, a treatment for gastrointestinal problems, and externally for joint pain.

Our seed came from our friend Sara Nelson and members of the Corcoran Pollinator Project in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

GROWING TIPS: Sow seeds in fall, or midwinter in milder climates, or cold-moist stratify seeds for 30-60 days before planting.