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Florida Ironweed  Vernonia blodgettii

The range distribution maps for Florida Iron- weed are from the Plants Database of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Two Ironweed species are found in Florida.  The Giant Ironweed is found in central and northern Florida and other southeastern states.  The Florida Ironweed, also known as Blodgett’s Ironweed, is found in the southern part of the state and the northern Bahamas.  The Florida species is a native perennial that grows to a height of 1-3 feet, whereas the Giant species grows to a height of 4-8 feet.

The plant grows in low pine flatwoods and along the edges of open marshes.  It is seldom found in places that don’t become wet during the summer.  It has long smooth stems and alternate, sessile leaves that are linear or narrowly lanceolate in shape.  The leaves are 2-4 inches long and about 1/2-inch wide.

The flower heads form in open clusters and lack rays flowers.  The disk flowers are bright pinkish lavender in color.  They bloom during the summer and fall and are quite attractive to pollinating insects.

All of the photos were taken in the Babcock-Webb WMA in Charlotte County.