IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Description

This native perennial plant consists of a loose rosette of basal leaves up to 1' across. Each basal leaf is about 6" long and ¼" across, although occasionally a larger size is achieved. The basal leaves are semi-erect, linear in shape, and various shades of green, depending on the local ecotype. They are smooth, finely crisped, and often downy white along the margins. There is a prominent central vein along the length of each basal leaf. From the center of each rosette, there develops one or more leafless stalks about 6-8" tall. Each stalk terminates in a single yellow to golden yellow flowerhead that is about 1-2" across. The basal leaves and flowering stalks are glabrous or slightly pubescent, and they contain a milky latex. Each flowerhead consists of numerous spreading ray florets that are yellow or golden yellow and no disk florets. Each ray floret is truncated and 5-toothed at its tip. The floral bracts surrounding the base of each flowerhead are lanceolate and occur in a single overlapping series. The blooming period occurs from mid- to late spring and lasts about a month. A single plant may produce several flowerheads in succession. The achenes are bullet-shaped and have tufts of white hair. They are distributed by the wind. The root system consists of a stout taproot that is quite large for the size of the plant. This plant spreads by reseeding itself.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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