Articles on this page are available in 1 other language: Spanish (4) (learn more)

Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

Another common name for this plant is Fireweed. The flowers of this plant are not very showy, and it is rather weedy in habit. The flowers are in bloom in the upper photograph, believe it or not. Pilewort has a distinctive appearance because of the flowers and can't be confused with any other species. Return
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

This native annual plant is 2-8' tall and little branched, except at the top near the inflorescence. The central stem is round and largely hairless, with fine vertical lines that are dark green. The alternate leaves are up to 8" long and 3" across. They are lanceolate, ovate, or oblanceolate, often with pinnate lobes. The upper surface of the leaves is glabrous or has scattered white hairs, while the margins are coarsely serrated or dentate. The lower leaves have short petioles, while the smaller upper leaves are sessile. The upper stems terminate in panicles of flowerheads. A flowerhead consists of numerous tubular disk florets, which are enclosed by green bracts that are smooth and linear. Sometimes these bracts assume a purplish appearance. The corollas of the disk florets, which are barely visible above the bracts, are white. The outer florets are fertile and pistillate, while the inner florets are hermaphroditic or sterile. The flowerheads are about ¾" long and ¼" across; they are slightly wider at the base, where there may be some outer bracts that are very short and linear. The blooming period occurs during late summer or early fall for about a month. There is no floral scent, although the foliage has a rank smell. The achenes develop with tufts of soft white hair; they are dispersed by the wind. The root system is shallow and fibrous.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Pilewort occurs in most counties of Illinois and is a common plant (see Distribution Map). Habitats include moist black soil prairies, rocky open woodlands, thickets, savannas, gravelly seeps, edges of marshes, remnant bogs, areas along ditches and railroads, and urban waste areas. This plant prefers disturbed areas, especially where fire has occurred. In prairies, it is found primarily near wetlands or moist areas with some woody vegetation.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Pilewort occurs in most counties of Illinois and is a common plant (see Distribution Map). Habitats include moist black soil prairies, rocky open woodlands, thickets, savannas, gravelly seeps, edges of marshes, remnant bogs, areas along ditches and railroads, and urban waste areas. This plant prefers disturbed areas, especially where fire has occurred. In prairies, it is found primarily near wetlands or moist areas with some woody vegetation.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Associations

Faunal Associations

Primarily wasps visit the flowers for nectar, including Paper wasps, Hornets, Eumenine wasps, and Spider wasps. Other insect visitors include long-tongued bees, short-tongued bees, and Tachinid flies. Mammalian herbivores leave this plant alone because of the bitterness and rank smell of the foliage.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Flower-Visiting Insects of Pilewort in Illinois

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Erechtites hieracifolia

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 14
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is light shade to full sun, and moist conditions. The size of a plant can vary considerably depending on the fertility of the soil and the amount of available moisture. The soil should have sufficient organic material to retain moisture; some gravelly material is apparently acceptable as this plant often grows along railroad tracks.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Erechtites hieracifolia

Erechtites hieracifolia (fireweed, American burnweed, or Pilewort) is a plant in the daisy family, Asteraceae. It is native to the Americas,[1] but can be found many places around the world having been introduced by human activity.[2] It is introduced in Hawaii.[3]

Description[edit]

Erechtites hieracifolia is a herbaceous plant with alternate, simple leaves, on thick, green stems. The leaves are serrated, and range from unlobed to deeply lobed, with the lobe pattern superficially resembling wild lettuces, which are in the same family but not more closely related. The flowers are yellow, borne in fall. The flowers are followed by cluster of small, wispy seeds. The plant often branches and grows in a clump with multiple stems.

Ecology[edit]

This species benefits from fire, and is often one of the earliest pioneer species of areas that have recently burned, hence some of its common names. It prefers moist sites but can handle gravelly soil and some degree of dry conditions. It also grows well in urban areas and around humans.

The flowers are pollinated primarily by wasps. The seeds are wind-dispersed, and are used as a minor food source by birds.[3]

Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!