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Vernonia 'Summer's Surrender' (ironweed)
Vernonia 'Summer's Surrender' - ironweed from North Creek Nurseries

Vernonia 'Summer's Surrender' PP28475


Vernonia ‘Summer’s Surrender’ is the result of careful breeding—arising from a cross between narrowleaf and Arkansas ironweed made by Jim Ault at Chicago Botanic Garden. ‘Summer’s Surrender’ has a passing resemblance to ‘Southern Cross’, but, at 48 inches tall and 74 inches wide, it has a much broader, mounded habit. The 5-inch-long, linear leaves are dark green and especially lovely; as a bonus, they are resistant to powdery mildew and rust. From early to late fall, ‘Summer’s Surrender’ marks the turning of the seasons with an impressive show of dark purple flowers in broad, airy clusters.

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' PP28475 LP50 - 50 per flat Availability
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36-48 Inches


50-75 Inches


4-5 Feet

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 4-9

ironweed Interesting Notes

Vernonia 'Summer Surrender' was selected in 2013 from a 2010 cross of Vernonia lettermannii and V. arkansana. It inherited the bushy habit from V. lettermannii and the more robust plant size, larger foliage and larger capitula from V. arkansana. ‘Summer’s Surrender’ is no shrinking-violet perennial, as it matures into a robust yet uniform and dense broad mound. Five-year-old plants measured 48 inches tall and 74 inches wide. The attractive olive green leaves grow to 5 inches long and half-an-inch wide, and with excellent resistance to both powdery mildew and rust the foliage remains clean and attractive all summer and fall. Dark purple florets are packed into nearly one inch-wide flower heads which are borne in profusion on airy inflorescences from early September to early October in northern Illinois (USDA Zone 5). A diversity of butterflies, moths, and bees are attracted to the selection. - Chicago Botanic Garden

Vernonia 'Summer's Surrender' Growing and Maintenance Tips

Grow Vernonia arkansa in full sun and average to dry soils with good drainage. Periods of inundation are tolerated, but not heavy or saturated soils.

It has proven adaptable to both moist and dry soil, and has also exhibited excellent resistance to rust and powdery mildew. Use this selection individually or massed in perennial or mixed borders, in pollinator gardens, near lake edges and other moist sites as long as well-drained, in drier sites, and in any situation that calls for a midsized attractive and uniform perennial plant. -Chicagoland Grows

Good Substitutions

New York ironweed Vernonia noveboracensis
ironweed Vernonia 'Summer's Swan Song'
ironweed Vernonia lettermannii 'Iron Butterfly'

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Native to North America
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Summer
Propagation Type