Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Ironweed (Vernonia missurica)
- Family: Aster (Asteraceae)
- Flowering: July-September.
- Field Marks: Although members of this genus are often difficult to distinguish, this species usually can be recognized by its densely hairy lower leaf surface, its round-tipped bracts at the base of each flower head, and its flower heads with 30 or more flowers.
- Habitat: Low woods, wet meadows, along streams, swamps, wet prairies, disturbed soil.
- Habit: Perennial herb with rhizomes.
- Stems: Erect, branched, hairy, up to 6 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, lanceolate, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, toothed, hairy, up to 6 inches long, up to 2 inches broad.
- Flowers: Several crowded into numerous heads, each head subtended by several appressed, purple or green bracts; each head consisting only of purple disk flowers.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 5, purple, united into a tube.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Achenes about 1/6 inch long, with a tuft of tawny bristles at the tip.
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