Date of this Version
McCarty, M.K. and Scifres, C.J. (1969) Western ironweed: Research on anatomy, physiology, life history and control (Research Bulletin: Bulletin of the Agricultural Experiment Station of Nebraska No. 231)
Western ironweed (Vernonia baldwini Torr.) is a member of a widespread and diverse genus. The genus is characterized by perennial herbs and shrubs. Weaver and Darland listed the increase of western ironweed, at one time sparsely distributed, as an indication of degeneration of the true prairie. They described the invasion, spread, and ultimate dominance of western ironweed in many pastures after the drought years. Weaver measured ironweed roots to a depth of 11 or 12 ft., and remarked that it was one of "the most abundant and worst weeds in native pastures derived from the true prairie." Research has been conducted for the past 20 years on various phases of the biology of western ironweed near Lincoln, Nebraska. It is the objective of this study to summarize the present status of research efforts on western ironweed. Unpublished studies will be described and related in tabular or pictorial form. Many of the principles developed during the course of research on this plant may relate directly to many other perennial plants.