IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Description

This native perennial wildflower is 1½–3' tall with each stem branching occasionally in the upper half. Because of vegetative offsets, multiple stems usually develop. The pale to medium green stems are strongly winged from the decurrent leaves; they are usually canescent, but some populations of plants can have either glabrous or hairy stems. The alternate leaves are up to 3" long and 1" across; they are pale to medium green, lanceolate to narrowly ovate, smooth along their margins, and canescent to glabrous. The base of each leaf clasps the stem, forming decurrent extensions of the leaf along the stem below. The upper stems terminate in individual flowerheads about 1" across. Each flowerhead has a globoid center about ½" across that consists of many disk florets that are purple to brown. Surrounding the center of the flowerhead, there are 8-14 ray florets. The petaloid rays of these latter florets are bright yellow, V-shaped (narrow at the base, broad at the tip), and slightly drooping; the tip of each ray is defined by 3 rounded lobes. At the bottom of each flowerhead, there is a single series of floral bracts that are pale green and lanceolate in shape; they become recurved when the flowerheads are in bloom. The blooming period occurs from mid-summer to early fall and lasts about 2 months. The rays fall to the ground, while the disk florets in the globoid center develop into small achenes. Each achene is about 1.0 in length or a little longer and bullet-shaped; there is a crown of awned scales at its apex. The root system is fibrous, forming vegetative offsets.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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