IRONWEED FLAT TOP





(Vernonia Noveboracensis) Thistle family.



Flower-head - Composite of tubular florets only, intense

reddish-purple thistle-like heads, borne on short, branched

peduncles and forming broad, flat clusters; bracts of involucre,

brownish purple, tipped with awl-shaped bristles. Stem: 3 to 9

ft. high, rough or hairy, branched. Leaves: Alternate, narrowly

oblong or lanceolate, saw-edged, 3 to 10 in. long, rough.

Preferred Habitat - Moist soil, meadows, fields.

Flowering Season - July-September.

Distribution - Massachusetts to Georgia, and westward to the

Mississippi.



Emerson says a weed is a plant whose virtues we have not yet

discovered; but surely it is no small virtue in the iron-weed to

brighten the roadsides and low meadows throughout the summer with

bright clusters of bloom. When it is on the wane, the asters, for

which it is sometimes mistaken, begin to appear, but an instant's

comparison shows the difference between the two flowers. After

noting the yellow disk in the center of an aster, it is not

likely the iron-weed's thistle-like head of ray florets only will

ever again be confused with it. Another rank-growing neighbor

with which it has been confounded by the novice is the Joe Pye

weed, a far paler, pinkish flower.



To each tiny floret, secreting nectar in its tube, many insects,

attracted by the bright color of the iron-weed standing high

above surrounding vegetation, come to feast. Long-lipped bees and

flies rest awhile for refreshment, but butterflies of many

beautiful kinds are by far the most abundant visitors. Pollen

carried out by the long, hairy styles as they extend to maturity

must attach itself to their tongues. The tiger swallow-tail

butterfly appears to have a special preference for this flower.

(See Self-Heal.)





COMMON or SCALY BLAZING STAR; COLIC-ROOT; RATTLESNAKE MASTER;





INDIAN PIPE ICEPLANT GHOSTFLOWER CORPSEPLANT JACKINTHEPULPIT INDIAN TURNIP facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Feedback