Vernonia baldwinii (Baldwin's Ironweed)
Asteraceae (Sunflower)
Vernonia baldwinii grows in meadows on the plains. Plants grow up to 5 feet tall. Clusters of purple flower heads are at the tops of the stems. Heads have disk flowers only and look like the horticultural Bachelor's Buttons. Leaves are alternate, broadly lanceolate and finely toothed. Leaves and stems are pubescent, with short hairs.

The University of Colorado Herbarium has just 3 records of Vernonia baldwinii in Colorado. The plants in the photos were growing at the Rocky Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, one of the three recorded populations.

Vegetation zone:  Plains
Time of bloom:  July - September
Origin:  Native
Eastern Colorado Wildflowers