“New York” Plant Inhabits Southern Pittsylvania

By William T. Hathaway
Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis)

Ironweed is also known as New York Ironweed, as its specific name noveboracensis indicates. According to Gray's Manual of Botany the generic name “Vernonia” refers to William Vernon, an English botanist who traveled in North America.

It is interesting to me that this species is found mostly in the southern half of Pittsylvania County. Moist thickets and soggy stream edges seem to be most suitable sites for the plant.

In my over 40 years of photography I have been unable to catch the exact purple/red color of these flowers. I noticed also that the color of the Ironweeds displayed on the internet were not the exact color as seen through my eyes. This photo was taken in August of 1990.