IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Description

This native perennial plant is 1½–3' tall, and largely unbranched except at the inflorescence. The central stem is light green and largely hairless. Near the base of the plant, are basal leaves with long narrow petioles. These basal leaves are about 3" long and 1½" across, cordate or broadly oval, and largely hairless. Their petioles are about 1½" long and finely pubescent, while their margins are smooth, or nearly so. As the leaves alternate upward along the stem, they become greatly reduced in size and more narrow. These upper leaves are narrowly lanceolate, narrowly elliptical, or linear; they are sessile against the stem. The inflorescence is a large panicle of compound flowers that are daisy-like in appearance; this large inflorescence has a tendency to droop over somewhat. The compound flowers are about ½" across or slightly larger. They consist of about 10-25 lavender or light blue ray florets, which surround numerous disk florets that are initially yellow, but later turn red or brown. The compound flowers are subtended by numerous bracts that are ciliate and form small green diamonds. The blooming period occurs from late summer to fall, and lasts about 1-2 months. Later, achenes develop with small tufts of hair, which are dispersed by the wind. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous; older plants may develop a short caudex.

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Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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