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

Examples of ironweed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ralph said specific native plants that were previously prohibited but allowed under the new ordinance include Canada goldenrod, daisy fleabane, dogbane, fall panicum, hoary verbena, ironweed, milkweed, Pennsylvania smartweed, purpletop grass, sagewort, tall thistle and wild four-o’clock. Debra Skodack, Kansas City Star, 10 Apr. 2024 Tall, woody wildflowers like goldenrod, ironweed, teasel, mullein and the like can produce embers in seconds. Bradley Duncan, Discover Magazine, 25 Dec. 2023 Leaving blackberry, mullein, ironweed, mountain mint, Joe Pye weed, sunflowers and wild bergamot standing can make a huge difference. Tovah Martin, Washington Post, 30 Oct. 2023 This structure gives a sense of intentionality that distinguishes this garden from a wild prairie and takes advantage of the towering height of the Joe Pye weed and ironweed. Susan Brownstein, cleveland, 8 Aug. 2023 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ironweed.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 Jul. 2024.

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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