Tall Ironweed with a Silver-spotted Skipper
Vernonia altissima /Aster Family
These flowers are composites, note the tiny individual flowers in different blooming stages, the buds (right), and the brown developing seeds (lower left). The brilliant purple adds beautiful color to late summer and early fall fields and roadsides. This Ironweed plant was blooming at Cove Lake State Park in late August. The "butterfly" is a Silver-spotted Skipper. Skippers have down-turned knobs on their antennae, butterflies have rounded or cylindrical knobs.
Where seen: Oak Ridge Greenways, Great Smoky Mountains NP, Warriors' Path SP, widespread