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Wildflower Wednesday - Ironweed

Ironweed 

Vernonia fasciculata is my pick for Wildflower Wednesday as it's just starting to bloom in my garden and is one of my all-time favorites.  One look at that color, and its mop of flowers often covered with bees, and I knew it belonged in my garden.
But where to find it?  As with too many native plants, it wasn't available locally so I deployed an even better option - found it in a field slated for commercial development, asked permission,  and "rescued" several.
It took a couple of years to seem happy, but now it dies to the ground each winter only to return the following late spring/early summer to make me and the bees happy.
Evidently ironweed doesn't make everyone happy.  Check out this quote I found online:  
"Ironweed was named for its rugged stalks, which stubbornly persist throughout the winter. Its underground stems are equally tenacious, sending up sprouts even when repeatedly mowed. The plant's vivid purple flowers may look lovely in a cityscape, but they are a bane in the pasture."
Do you have a favorite wildflower?  Wildflower Wednesday was started by my friend Gail on her blog "Clay and Limestone" to celebrate the native plants that sustain our native bees and pollinators.  Share yours - and follow Gail - to encourage a bit of re-wilding in our gardens.



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