|Photos taken at HNWR by Jesse Trujillo, July, 2013|
Western ironweed’s 3-5 ft. stems occur singly or in clumps, and are stout and hairy. Wide clusters of vibrant, red-violet flowers form at the ends of short branches near the top of the plant. Because the flowers are all of the disk variety, the 6 in. wide flower cluster has a fuzzy appearance. Long, lance-shaped leaves line the stems.
The site goes on to say that Ironweed is native to much of the midwest, Texas and Louisiana. A range map is shown on the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services site. The bloom time is from July to frost. Ironweed is perennial The plant is attractive to birds, butterflies and native bees, as well as photographers and wildflower fans.