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Chicagoland Grows®

Chicagoland Grows is an innovative plant introduction program developed to promote the use of new plant cultivars that are well-adapted to the growing conditions of the Upper Midwest. While regional in focus, the program’s plants can be grown successfully in all zone-appropriate regions of North America, Europe, and around the world.


Chicagoland Grows is a corporate partnership among the Chicago Botanic Garden; The Morton Arboretum; and the Ornamental Grower’s Association of Northern Illinois (OGA), a network of wholesale nurseries located in northeastern Illinois.

Vernonia 'Summer's Surrender' PP28475

ironweed

Vernonia ‘Summer’s Surrender’ is a unique plant. What makes it so? Bushy, dark olive-green foliage, disease resistance, and a distinct shrub-like form that grows wider than tall, 'Summer's Surrender' is an easy choice to submit. It doesn't lodge like other cultivars and is covered in airy purple clusters through late summer into fall. 

Vernonia 'Summer's Surrender' ironweed from North Creek Nurseries

Vernonia 'Summer's Swan Song' PP28556

ironweed

The most diminutive of hybrid ironweeds available on the market, ‘Summer’s Swan Song’ is a selection from our friend Jim Ault at Chicago Botanic Garden. The foliage is olive green with a purple tinge on wine red stems and covered in deep purple flowers from early to mid-autumn. Attention-grabbing at CBG’s Vernonia trials, the long flowering branches interlock to hold the stems upright on the blusteriest of days.

Vernonia 'Summer's Swan Song' ironweed from North Creek Nurseries