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threatened and/or endangered

Prairie Ironweed Vernonia fasciculata


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Prairie Ironweed
© J. Gordon Miller

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Family: Asteraceae, Aster view all from this family

Description Stout, unbranched, leafy stems bear attractive floral sprays composed of densely clustered, rose-purple flowers.
Flowers: rayless flower heads 1/2" (1.5 cm) across, in large, flat-topped, terminal clusters.
Leaves: numerous; lance-shaped; coarsely toothed; dark-green; alternate.
Height: 2-6' (0.6-1.8 m).

Flower July-September.

Habitat Wet prairies; marshes.

Range Ohio to Saskatchewan, south to Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado; introduced elsewhere.

Discussion Ironweeds are named for their tough stems. This is a colorful choice for a butterfly garden, as many species visit it for its nectar. Give it a sunny spot with fertile, moist to wet soil.