Species Factsheets

Vernonia glauca

Tawny Ironweed

View as PDF

State Status: Pennsylvania Endangered (PE)
PBS Status: Pennsylvania Endangered (PE)
Federal Status:

Global Rank: G5 rank interpretation
State Rank: S1

Did You Know?

The root of this species is a blood tonic that can be used to regular menstration, relieve pain post childbirth or treating stomach bleeding or aches.

Vernonia glauca

Description

Tawny ironweed (Vernonia glauca) is a perennial herb that may grow to 1.5m in height. The leaves are alternately-arranged, narrowly egg-shaped to oblong in shape, noticeably paler below, with short-pointed tips and bases that taper to a short petiole. The flowers, which appear from July to October, are purplish and are grouped into dense flowering heads, which are clustered at the top of the stem in a branched, flat or roundtopped grouping. This species has lighter-colored bristles at the top of its fruits than does the much more common species Vernonia noveboracensis.

Rank Justification

Critically imperiled in the nation or state because of extreme rarity (often 5 or fewer occurrences) or because of some factor(s) such as very steep declines making it especially vulnerable to extirpation from the state.

PABS

The PA Biological Survey considers tawny ironweed to be a species of special concern because of the few occurrences that have been recently confirmed. It has a PA legal rarity status and a PABS suggested rarity status of Endangered. Fewer than ten populations are currently known from the state.

Habitat

It grows in successional clearings, dry fields, and upland forests.

Survey Dates

Flowers July - October

Distribution

In Pennsylvania, it reaches a northern limit of its range and has been documented in a few southeastern counties.

Tawny

Threats

The currently known populations of tawny ironweed in the state are threatened by human-related habitat loss, natural succession, invasive species, and the indiscriminate spraying of herbicides.

Management

Given the preference of the species for open habitats, active management is usually required to maintain the proper successional stage.

Conservation Status Map

Tawny

Map Legend

NatureServe. 2017. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org.

http://practicalplants.org/wiki/Vernonia_glauca

  • NatureServe. 2018. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available at http://www.natureserve.org/explorer
  • Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. 2018.
  • Rhoads, A.F. and W.M. Klein, Jr. 1993. The Vascular Flora of Pennsylvania. American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rhoads, A.F. and T.A. Block.
  • 2007. The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual. 2nd edition. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
PNHP is a partnership between The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources,
the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission,
and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
DCNR Home Page
PA Game Commission Home Page
PA Fish and Boat Commission Home Page
Western PA Conservancy Home Page
DCNR Home Page PNHP | Forestry Home | Contact Us | Search This Site
© 2019 PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
DCNR Home Page