Thursday, August 1, 2013


In mid-July just as most of the earlier wildflowers were going to seed, a tall wildflower with rich purple blossoms started showing up at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge along Refuge Road near the Refuge entrance - Western Ironweed.

Photos taken at HNWR by Jesse Trujillo, July, 2013

Western, or Baldwin's Ironweed's botanical name is Vernonia baldwinii Torr, and it is a member of the Aster family.  According to the Native Plant Identification Network
Western ironweed’s 3-5 ft. stems occur singly or in clumps, and are stout and hairy. Wide clusters of vibrant, red-violet flowers form at the ends of short branches near the top of the plant. Because the flowers are all of the disk variety, the 6 in. wide flower cluster has a fuzzy appearance. Long, lance-shaped leaves line the stems.

The site goes on to say that Ironweed is native to much of the midwest, Texas and Louisiana.  A range map is shown on the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services site. The bloom time is from July to frost.   Ironweed  is perennial  The plant is attractive to birds, butterflies and native bees, as well as photographers and wildflower fans.

1 comment:

  1. I love purple ironweed. It grows along route 11 near Luella. I really want to get some in my perennial garden.