iron·​weed ˈī(-ə)rn-ˌwēd How to pronounce ironweed (audio)
: any of a genus (Vernonia) of mostly weedy composite plants usually having alternate leaves and perfect red, purple, or white tubular flowers in terminal cymose heads

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The hard path will offer close-up views of wildflowers in the fall, such as ironweed, milkweed and two varieties of goldenrod. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, 28 Sep. 2022 Rhett Steele lopes through the dense Indiana forest, oblivious of the ironweed and paw-paws and briars that grab at his legs. Doug Struck, The Christian Science Monitor, 13 Sep. 2022 Dozens of monarch butterflies descended on the prairie at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Tuesday, feasting on the nectar of purple ironweed flowers and golden compass plant blossoms. Nara Schoenberg, Chicago Tribune, 9 Sep. 2022 The diminutive threadleaf ironweed (V. lettermannii) has become one of our favorites at Yew Dell for both foliage texture and bloom. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 14 Aug. 2021 On the other end of the spectrum is the gigantic New York ironweed (V. noveboracensis) that puts those same violet flowers on 7-9-foot tall stems. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 14 Aug. 2021 These plants were the top species magnets: black willow, a goldenrod named Euthamia graminifolia, Virginia bluebell and New York ironweed. Washington Post, 28 Apr. 2021 Monarch butterflies have, for centuries, relied on milkweed and nectar plants—in Oklahoma and Kansas, this includes sunflowers, ironweed, coneflower, and a host of others—to fuel their journey up and down the continent. Nick Martin, The New Republic, 4 Mar. 2021 The Pollinator Habitat Expansion Initiative involves mowing less and planting varieties of milkweed, clover, ironweed, wingstem, columbine, joe pye weed and two-leaved toothwort. USA TODAY, 16 July 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ironweed.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1819, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ironweed was in 1819

Dictionary Entries Near ironweed

Cite this Entry

“Ironweed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


iron·​weed -ˌwēd How to pronounce ironweed (audio)
: any of several mostly weedy plants related to the daisies and bearing clusters of red, purple, or white flowers

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