Vernonia noveboracensis, or New York Ironweed, is a native herbaceous perennial that can reach a staggering 6 feet tall. It typically occurs in the wild in moist thickets, low areas and along stream banks from Massachusetts to Mississippi.
This plant features numerous fluffy, deep purple flowers. The bloom time is August through September, so they have just about finished up for the season.
The source of the common name has been attributed to certain “iron-like” plant qualities including the tough stems, the rusty-tinged color of fading flowers, and the rust-colored seeds. You can find it taking up space in the Pollinator Meadow, as well as a nice specimen in the bed to the left of the stairs leading into the Park at 120th Street.