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Western Ironweed

Vernonia baldwinii

Other common name(s):

Baldwin's Ironweed, Ironweed

Family:

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Cross Timbers, East Central Texas Plains, Edwards Plateau, Southwestern Tablelands, Texas Blackland Prairies, Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Grand Prairie, Limestone Cut Plain, Western Cross Timbers
Southern Post Oak Savanna
Balcones Canyonlands, Edwards Plateau Woodland
Canadian/Cimarron Breaks, Semiarid Canadian Breaks
Northern Blackland Prairie
Flatwoods, Southern Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Herbaceous

Height

3
to
5
ft.

Spread

1
to
2
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Rocky, Limestone, Caliche, Well Drained

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade

Water Requirement

Low

Native Habitat

Grassland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Red, Purple

Bloom Season

Summer, Fall

Seasonal Interest

Seeds, Nectar, Pollen

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Birds, Bees

Maintenance

Once established, Western Ironweed can colonize by rhizomes. Best in natural areas and large meadows where large colonies can be appreciated.. Tough, drought tolerant. Needs well-drained conditions. Leave stems till spring to provide nesting habitat for tunnel-nesting bees. Propagation: Seed, Root division, Softwood cuttings. Few seeds are fertile, so sow thickly when soil temperature is warm.

Comments

Blooms July-November. Western Ironweed’s stems are stout and hairy. The flowers are clusters of red-violet blooms that form at the ends of short branches near the top of the plant. Long, lance-shaped leaves grow along the entire length of the stem. Attracts birds, butterflies and bees.

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) Wasowski and Wasowski, Native Texas Plants Landscaping Region by Region, 1991, pg. 212. 3) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=VEBA. 4) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Vernonia+baldwinii&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 5) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=4745&locationType=County&mapType=Normal, 6) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=38622#null