IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Description

This native perennial wildflower is 2-3' tall and usually unbranched. The central stem is light green, terete or angular, and glabrous to hairy; it has a tendency to zigzag between the alternate leaves. The leaf blades are 2-5" long and 1-4" across, becoming shorter and more narrow where the flowers occur; they are widely spreading. The lower to middle leaves are ovate to broadly ovate, while the upper leaves are more lanceolate. The leaf margins are coarsely serrated. The upper surfaces of the leaves are medium to dark green and glabrous, while their lowers surfaces are more pale and glabrous to slightly hairy. The petioles are ¼–1½" long and somewhat winged near the bases of the leaf blades. At the apex of the central stem, there is a terminal inflorescence about 1½–5" long and about one-third as much across. This inflorescence is either a raceme or narrow panicle of flowerheads. There are also smaller axillary racemes about ½–1½" long that develop from the middle to upper leaves; they are shorter than the leaves. The branches of each inflorescence are light green and glabrous. Each flowerhead is about ¼" across or a little less, consisting of 3-4 yellow ray florets, 4-8 yellow disk florets, and several series of floral bracts at its base. The floral bracts are light green and appressed. The blooming period occurs from late summer to early fall and lasts about 1 month. Both ray and disk florets are fertile. During the fall, the florets are replaced by achenes with small tufts of hair; they are distributed by the wind. The small achenes are bullet-shaped and pubescent. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. Vegetative colonies of plants are sometimes formed from the spreading rhizomes.

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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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