IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Description

This native perennial plant is 1-3½' tall, branching occasionally. The height of this plant is variable, depending on the moisture regime and levels of disturbance. The central stem is grooved and has lines of small white hairs. It is green on new growth, but eventually becomes brown and woody in appearance. The hairless alternate leaves are up to 5" long and 1¼" across, becoming much shorter and more narrow as they ascend the stems. They are lanceolate or narrowly ovate, have margins that are smooth or slightly serrate, and are sessile or narrow into a petiole-like base. Sometimes the foliage becomes purple during the fall in response to cold weather. The daisy-like composite flowers are ½–¾" across, with 20-40 white ray florets surrounding numerous yellow or reddish disk florets. There is no noticeable floral scent. The composite flowers are arranged as a panicle in the upper part of the plant, and bloom during the fall for 1-2 months. The achenes are light brown, flattened, and slightly hairy, to which are attached tufts of white or light brown hair. Dispersion of the achenes is by wind. The root system is fibrous and forms long creeping rhizomes, especially in moist areas. Sometimes this plant will form dense colonies.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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