Is this related to the thistle, grown in dry, sandy soil?
Hi again, Mary!
This is another member of the Aster family, distantly related to thistles but not too close – it is called Vernonia angustifolia, the narrow-leaved ironweed. It is another of our more attractive wildflowers most common in the sandhill region. Keep sending these interesting plants! The sandhills are a very interesting part of the state, though often terribly hot in midsummer!
Steve Hill, Botanist, SCNPS