ver·​no·​nia | \ ˌvərˈnōnēə\

Definition of vernonia

1 capitalized : a genus of chiefly tropical herbs or shrubs (family Compositae) occurring chiefly in South America but including some that are native to North America and having alternate leaves mostly red or purple and terminal cymose heads of perfect tubular flowers — see ironweed
2 plural -s : any plant of the genus Vernonia

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History and Etymology for vernonia

New Latin, from William Vernon †1711 English botanist + New Latin -ia

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to make a temporary encampment

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