Vernonia angustifolia

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Vernonia angustifolia
Vernonia angustifolia Gil.jpg
Photo taken by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae ⁄ Compositae
Genus: Vernonia
Species: V. angustifolia
Binomial name
Vernonia angustifolia
VERN ANGU dist.jpg
Natural range of Vernonia angustifolia from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Tall ironweed

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Vernonia angustifolia Michaux var. angustifolia; Vernonia angustifolia Michaux ssp. angustifolia


A description of Vernonia angustifolia is provided in The Flora of North America.




In the Coastal Plain region, V. angustifolia can be found in sand pine scrubs, longleaf pine-wiregrass flatwoods, edges of meadows, pine-turkey oak flats, longleaf pine savannas, mixed woodlands adjacent to floodplains, annually burned pinelands, longleaf pine-sedge-andropogon savannas, slash pine-wiregrass flats, oak scrubs, second growth hardwoods, cabbage palm hammocks, annually burned upland pines [1] [2] and sandhill communities. [3] It can also be found along roadsides, power line corridors, bulldozed pine-oak scrubs, and clobbered slash pine forests. Soil types include sandy loam, loose sand, loamy sands, sandy peat[2], and Utisols [4] Associated species include Aristida, Serenoa repens, Ilex glabra, Liatris, Andropogon, Panicum, and Leptoloma cognata. [2]


It is a fall forb. [5] Showy-flowered sandhill species. [3] It has been observed flowering in January and June through October and fruits June through October.[2][6]

Seed dispersal

This species disperses by wind. [7]

Seed bank and germination

Less than 1% of V. angustifolia seeds remained viable after two years of burial. [4] So V. angustifolia does not have a short-term persistent soil seed bank and has little seed dormancy. [4]

Fire ecology

It can live in areas frequently burned. [4]

Use by animals

In Southeastern pine savannas, V. angustifolia was found in 6.25% of the active gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) burrows.[1]

Conservation and management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Birkhead, R. D., C. Guyer, et al. (2005). "Patterns of folivory and seed ingestion by gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) in a southeastern pine savanna." American Midland Naturalist 154: 143-151.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: July 2015. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Robert K. Godfrey, Nancy E. Jordan, R. Kral, K. Craddock Burks, Andre F. Clewell, P. L. Redfearn, Samuel B. Jones, Richard S. Mitchell, John C. Ogden, H. E. Grelen, James D. Ray, Jr., Gwynn W. Ramsey, E. S. Ford, C. Jackson, Robert L. Lazor, John D. Lazor, Gary R. Knight, Rodie White, R. A. Norris, R. Komarek, M. Davis, MacClendons, G. Wilder, Cecil R Slaughter. States and Counties: Florida: Bay, Calhoun, Citrus, Columbia, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Hernando, Highlands, Jackson, Lake, Leon, Liberty, Martin, Nassau, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Seminole, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla, Washington. Georgia: Baker, Coffee, Grady, Thomas. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Heuberger, K. A. and F. E. Putz (2003). "Fire in the suburbs: ecological impacts of prescribed fire in small remnants of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) sandhill." Restoration Ecology 11: 72-81.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Coffey, K. L. and L. K. Kirkman (2006). "Seed germination strategies of species with restoration potential in a fire-maintained pine savanna." Natural Areas Journal 26: 289-299.
  5. Kirkman, L. K., K. L. Coffey, et al. (2004). "Ground cover recovery patterns and life-history traits: implications for restoration obstacles and opportunities in a species-rich savanna." Journal of Ecology 92: 409-421.
  6. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 15 DEC 2016
  7. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.