Asteraceae (Composite) Sunflower
The New York Ironweed is a plant of medium height (usually 2 to 4 feet) with erect stems that branch toward the uppermost portion of the stalk. Each branch bears a cluster of deep lavender to violet flower heads. Together, the clusters form a loose spray. Its preferred habitat is moist low ground, roadsides, and stream margins. Distribution is occasional in the Escambia region.
The leaves are alternate on the stem, 4 to 8 inches long, finely toothed, lance-like in form with a long, pointed tip.
The flowers are heads clustered to form bundles 3 to 4 inches broad. Each head is about 1/3 inch wide, with 30 to 50 lobed disk flowers. There are no ray flowers. The bracts surrounding the flower heads have long hair-like tips. The flowers are bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form. The color is purple. Flowers occur in early autumn.
Fruit is a capsule.
This plant is closely related to the Tall Ironweed, V. gigantea, except gigantea is taller (usually 4 to 7 feet), and the lower surface of the leaf is downy, each leaf measuring 6 to 10 inches long at maturity.