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Flaigg, Norman G.
Vernonia lindheimeri Gray & Engelm.
USDA Symbol: VELI3
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Woolly ironweed is a 10-30 in. high clump of gray-woolly stems and leaves. Flowers lack petals, but numerous lavender to purple disk flowers are arranged in showy, terminal clusters.
Not a rampant colonizer like some other members of this genus. Well behaved species.
This species is named after Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer (1801-1879) who is often called the Father of Texas Botany because of his work as the first permanent-resident plant collector in Texas. In 1834 Lindheimer immigrated to the United States as a political refugee. He spent from 1843-1852 collecting specimens in Texas. In 1844 he settled in New Braunfels, Texas, and was granted land on the banks of the Comal River, where he continued his plant collecting and attempted to establish a botanical garden. He shared his findings with many others who shared his interest in botany, including Ferdinand von Roemer and Adolph Scheele. Lindheimer is credited with the discovery of several hundred plant species. In addition his name is used to designate forty-eight species and subspecies of plants. He is buried in New Braunfels. His house, on Comal Street in New Braunfels, is now a museum.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
AR , TX Native Distribution:
In TX, on Edwards Plateau, rare in n.c. TX, also n. Mex. Native Habitat:
Open hillsides; roadsides; fields USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Sun Soil Moisture:
Dry Soil pH:
Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2) Cold Tolerant:
Dry caliche. Clay, Clay Loam, Medium Loam, Sandy Loam. Conditions Comments:
Woolly ironweed has an upright form and the colorful, showy blooms are distinctive. Needs well-drained conditions. The leaf undersides feel and readily appear hairy, hence the name woolly ironweed. Great, underused perennial
for the garden and meadow.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Perennial
garden, Pocket prairie, and can be used as a cut flower to enhance floral arrangements. Use Wildlife:
source for many species of butterflies. Conspicuous Flowers:
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Seed Collection: Collect seed in fall when it comes loose easily.
Seed Treatment: Germinates well, and grows slowly but steadily.
Commercially Avail: yes
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Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0288
Collected Aug. 21, 1992 in Kendall County by Kristina CoatesNPSOT 0120
Collected June 20, 1991 in Bexar County by Lottie Millsaps
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-MM-796
Collected 2010-11-14 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
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Record Modified: 2008-07-30
Research By: TWC Staff, GAP