Vernonia (Ironweed)

Some close friends showed me a picture that they took of a stunning purple flower they encountered walking in the University of Michigan Arboretum on Sunday.  I identified it as Ironweed (I am not sure what species it is) which is one of my favorite wildflowers.  So as I started my walk in Gallup on Sunday I was on the lookout and in eager anticipation of finding it in my park! Sure enough there it was near where I know it grows along the pathway in the wetlands. In fact, it has gradually extended its range and now appears to be more prevalent throughout the wetlands on the western pathway than previous years.
Photo by Stewart Nelson, 2017, some rights reserved.

Photo by Stewart Nelson, 2017, some rights reserved.

Over the next two days I snapped several more photos and today I happened  to run across a magnificent butterfly, a black swallowtail, feasting on one of the Ironwood plants as an added bonus. I think you will enjoy these photos.

Last year I wanted to plant some of these bewitching flowers in my yard so I ordered a pack of seeds online.  Little did I know at the time, ironweed requires the seeds to go through two winters before they will sprout so I will have to wait another year for mine to grow.

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