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Plant Profile  
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Common Name: Western Ironweed

Other Names: Baldwin’s Ironweed

Species Name: Vernonia baldwinii

Plant Type: Forb

Family Name: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family





Plant Facts  
Origin Native
Duration Annual, perennial or biennial
Distribution in the U.S. Midwest; Illinois to Arkansas west to Colorado and Texas
Distribution in Oklahoma Body of the state



ID Characteristics

  • Field Identification Characteristics


    • Erect stems unbranched below and branched above
    • Numerous leaves with finely serrated edges attached directly to stem; alternate 
    • Named for its very hard stem; Can have purplish hue


    • Numerous medium-sized pink to purple flower heads
  • Leaf and Stem Characteristics
    • Leaf Type: Simple
    • Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
    • Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
    • Stipules: Absent
  • Floral Characteristics
    • Petal Number: 17-34
    • Flower Color: Purple
    • Flower Timing: July-September
    • Fruit Type: Achene



Soil Type Deep clay and loamy soils
Habitat Prairie, introduced pasture, recently logged sites and heavily grazed areas
Successional Stage Mid to late, but generally always present


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