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This native perennial plant is 3-8' tall; it branches occasionally in the upper half. The stems are light green, terete, usually glabrous, and sometimes glaucous. The alternate leaves are up to 12" long and 12" across, becoming gradually smaller as they ascend the stems. These leaves spread outward from their stems on narrowly winged petioles and they have a tendency to droop. The lower to middle leaves have 3-7 large lobes and smooth to coarsely dentate margins. The lobes of these leaves are elliptic to ovate in shape; the terminal lobes of some leaves are subdivided into 2 smaller lobes. Sometimes the lower leaves are pinnate with a pair of basal leaflets and a lobed terminal leaflet. The uppermost leaves on the flowering stalks are much smaller in size and lanceolate to ovate in shape; they lack lobes. The upper leaf surface is dark green and hairless to sparingly short-hairy, while the lower leaf surface is pale-medium green and glabrous to sparingly hairy. The upper stems terminate in either individual or cyme-like clusters of flowerheads on stalks 2" or more in length. Each flowerhead spans about 2-3" across; it has a daisy-like structure consisting of a globoid central cone that is surrounded by 6-12 ray florets. The central cone is light green while immature, but it later becomes yellow and resembles a pincushion to some extent because of the corollas of its tubular disk florets. The petaloid rays surrounding the central cone are yellow, oblong in shape, and drooping. The base of each flowerhead is defined by 8-15 floral bracts (phyllaries); these bracts are light green, oblong-ovate in shape, and hairless to hairy. The blooming period occurs from mid-summer to early fall and lasts about 1-2 months. Each disk floret is replaced by an oblongoid achene (3-4.5 mm. in length) that has a crown of tiny blunt teeth at its apex. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. Clonal colonies of plants are often formed from the long rhizomes. Cultivation


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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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