Asteraceae : Vernonia fasciculata
Prairie ironweed, Ironweed
Native American Name
Lakota: waȟpé apé blaskáska
Vernonia fasciculata is a perennial herb from a fibrous rooted base, 60-120 cm tall and unbranched or branched only near the top. The stem is round, hairless, and greenish to reddish purple. The alternate, simple lanceolate leaves are sessile or have very short petioles, 4-15 cm long and 5-45 mm wide. Their margins are toothed, the leaf surfaces are hairless, the lower leaf surface having a prominent central vein, and often small black dots. The inflorescence is a flat-topped cluster of heads with each head has an involucre of overlapping bracts, the inner ones longer than the outer bracts, their pedicels usually slightly pubescent. There are 10-30 magenta disk flowers, the corollas 9-11 mm long, with 5 spreading lobes and a prominent divided style. The achenes are ~3 mm long with a brown to purplish pappus that is about twice as long. Ironweed blooms from July through October in damp prairies and along streambanks throughout South Dakota.