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This plant is about 2-3' tall while in flower. There is a rosette of basal leaves up to 6" long and 4" wide on long petioles. They are medium green, sandpapery in texture, coarsely serrated along the margins, and broadly lanceolate, ovate, or cordate. From the middle of this rosette, a stout flowering stalk develops, which has smaller alternate leaves on short petioles. Usually there are erect side stems that each develop an inflorescence. An inflorescence consists of flat-headed clusters of small white flowerheads; usually, there are several of them bunched loosely together on the same plant. Each flowerhead is about 1/3" across, consisting primarily of numerous disk florets, while the few ray florets are greatly reduced in size and barely perceptible. The overall effect is similar to a head of cauliflower. The blooming period occurs from late spring to mid-summer, and lasts about 2 months. There is no noticeable floral scent. Eventually, the flowerheads turn brown, and the achenes develop without tufts of hair. The central taproot is quite thickened and somewhat tuberous in appearance, while rhizomes promote the vegetative spread of this plant.


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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers


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