SOLVED: Unusual wildflower

Maryville, TN

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!

Thumbnail by Ibenhoeing Thumbnail by Ibenhoeing Thumbnail by Ibenhoeing
Castro Valley, CA

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.

https://tynnativeplants.wordpress.com/flowers/common-name/giant-ironweed-tall-ironweed/

https://tennessee-kentucky.plantatlas.usf.edu/Genus.aspx?id=202
https://uswildflowers.com/detail.php?SName=Vernonia%20gigantea

There are a few ironweeds to compare to yours.

Maryville, TN

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!

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

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.

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