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Comprehensive Description

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Description

This perennial wildflower forms a low rosette of basal leaves, from which a flowering stalk develops that is ½-2½' tall. The basal leaves are 2-6" long and ½-1" across; they are oblanceolate or elliptic-oblong in shape, while their margins are smooth and ciliate. The upper surface of the basal leaves is medium green and sparsely hairy, while the lower surface is pale green and hairy. The flowering stalk is pale green, terete, and unbranched; it has white hairs below and glandular black hairs above. Sometimes there are 1-2 alternate leaves along the lower half of its length. The alternate leaves are similar to the basal leaves, except smaller in size. The flowering stalk terminates in a dense cluster of 5-30 flowerheads. Each flowerhead is ½-¾" across, consisting of numerous yellow ray florets and their reproductive organs. Individual petaloid rays are linear-oblong with 5 teeth at their truncate tips. At the base of each flowerhead, are several floral bracts that are medium green and linear-oblong in shape; they have glandular black hairs along their midveins. The branches of the inflorescence are light green, terete, and glandular black-hairy. The blooming period occurs from late spring to mid-summer for about 1 month. Afterwards, the florets are replaced by narrowly oblongoid achenes about 1.5-2.0 mm. in length; the truncate upper tips of these achenes have small tufts of white hair. The root system consists of a taproot with either rhizomes or stolons. Occasionally, clonal offsets develop to form small colonies of plants.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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