Caption: New York Ironweed is a native wetland wildflower that occurs on Pocosin Lakes and Alligator River National Wildlife Refuges. The plants are more than 6 feet tall and bear purple flowers that are very attractive to bees and butterflies. The flowers mature into fluffy seeds that persist o the plants until songbirds pick them off during the winter. It only occurs on wetland soils. Butterfly shown is most likely an, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, frequently mistaken for a Spicebush Swallowtail.
Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is one of six national wildlife refuges in the Coastal North Carolina National Wildlife Refuges Complex. Pocosin Lakes Visitor Center, located in Columbia, NC, is open 9am to 4pm whenever volunteer staffing is available.