Western Ironweed

Western Ironweed
Western Ironweed
 Eileen Horn

Western Ironweed
Vernonia baldwinii


Family Aster
Longevity Perennial
Height 2 - 4 feet

Bloom Period

March April May June July August September October
  • Description:  Short, dense hairs cover stiff woody stems. Leaves are oval or lance-shaped and up to 2 inches wide and 4 inches long. Leaves are alternate on the stem, hairy on the underside and toothed. Reddish-purple flowering heads are produced in flat-topped clusters.
  • Comments: Ironweed is named because of its toughness. It is bitter and not grazed upon by livestock. The chemical properties that impart the bitterness are the plant’s defense against chewing insects, rodents and large grazing animals. Ironweed is a good rangeland indicator species. Ironweed will increase in abundance when the range is over-used but will decrease when management is improved. Swallowtails and sulphurs are among the butterfly visitors. Western Ironweed is found in pastures and roadsides statewide.

Western Ironweed
 Nancy Goulden

Return to The Meadow


The Meadow
Text: Iralee Barnard
Design: Jim Mason