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maybe Vernonia but not sure

Posted by michiganpete 5 (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 30, 13 at 19:04

I think this is a Vernonia (Ironweed) but I can't seem to find anything that matches it's species. I found some similar but then the stem or leaf shape was wrong. The leaf appears to have smooth edges and not spiny, the stem appears smooth or if any hairs are present they are sparse. The plant was still blooming in September in an open field/meadow.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: maybe Vernonia but not sure

here is a photo of the whole plant in a group

RE: maybe Vernonia but not sure

Yes to Vernonia. Michigan's two common species are V. fasciculata and V. missurica. Vernonia fasciculata has fairly narrow leaves that max out under 1 inch wide. Since the leaves in your photo seem wider, V. missurica is a good candidate. That species, though, is usually found only in the southern half of the state. A few less probable options are provided in the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vernonia species in the US

RE: maybe Vernonia but not sure

Thanks for the leads jekees. Vernonia fasciculata from the leaf descriptions and photos I found are suppose to have "sharply pointed teeth around the edges"; when I use my original image and magnified and enhanced it I can't really see any teeth; USDA only shows it present up to the southern border of Michigan but nowhere inside the state, as does the BONAP map. Vernonia missurica stem is suppose to be "covered with fine white hairs" but my photo seems to show smooth stem, it is however native to Michigan. Vernonia gigantea is also native to MI but the flowers don't look anything like my photo although other parts of the plant are quite similar. Looking up info for Vernonia ×illinoensis I discovered that the genus does naturally hybridize so it is possible that my specimen may be some kind of hybrid. Thanks again for the leads and if anyone else has an opinion I would love to hear it because these guesses are coming from an amateur.

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