Can anyone help me identify this unusual wildflower? Only one of them has chosen to grow in a shady area of my yard, and I have protected it all summer because of the strange lance-shaped leaves. But this week, the top buds burst open into beautiful purple blooms, unlike any I've seen before. I can't find this one in any of my books, so I hope someone can help!
SOLVED: Unusual wildflower
I was seeing an ironweed but my fingers kept typing ironwood and I could not figure out why pink flowered plants were not popping up. LOL
It is a great late bloomer. Lots of states have their very own species, tall, giant, fat or common ... onward.
I finally got it together and I looked up Tennessee ironweeds and up popped Vernonia flaccidifolia though Vernonia gigantea also seems to native to Tennessee. Probably a few others too.
There are a few ironweeds to compare to yours.
Thank you, ZilyZily! ID confirmed to be "vernonia flaccidifolia" (TN Ironweed), --all based on your kind lead! It differs in some respects from the "gigantea", in that it's smaller (about 18-20"), leaves longer and growing more laterally, and blooms are more clustered together than on separate stems. I appreciate your help so much!
Purple Ironweed and Gold Goldenrod are the colors for TN Tech! Go Golden Eagles! Well, at least the colors are somewhat exciting.
Some the ironweed I grow gets 10 feet tall or taller so watch out as it seeds readily.