Brickellia grandiflora (Hook.) Nutt.

Tassel Flower


CC = 10
CW = 5
MOC = 23

© SRTurner

Family - Asteraceae/Eupatorieae

Habit - Perennial forb.

Stems - To 90 cm, spreading to nearly erect, sometimes branched, moderately to densely pubescent.

Brickellia_grandiflora_stem.jpg Stem and leaves.

© SRTurner

Leaves - Roughly triangular, bases cordate to truncate, margins scalloped, surfaces finely short-hairy and usually somewhat glandular.

Brickellia_grandiflora_leaves.jpg Leaves.

© SRTurner

Brickellia_grandiflora_leaf.jpg Leaf adaxial.

© SRTurner

Brickellia_grandiflora_leaf2.jpg Leaf abaxial.

© SRTurner

Inflorescence - Small panicles at branch tips, heads usually nodding.

Brickellia_grandiflora_inflorescence.jpg Inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Heads - Heads discoid. Involucres 7-12 mm long, cylindrical or narrowly bell shaped, with numerous bracts in multiple series including a short outer series. Bracts linear, glandular, glabrous or finely hairy.

Brickellia_grandiflora_involucre.jpg Involucres and disk corollas.

© SRTurner

Florets - Disk florets 18-45. Corollas 6-8 mm, cream colored to pale yellow. Pappus bristles minutely barbed. Styles well exserted from corollas at anthesis.

Brickellia_grandiflora_florets.jpg Florets.

© SRTurner

Fruits - Achenes 3-5 mm long, 10-ribbed, linear or nearly so, dark brown.

Flowering - July - October.

Habitat - Bluff tops and ledges, glades, on calcareous substrates.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Lookalikes - None close.

Other info. - This delicately beautiful plant is fairly uncommon in Missouri. It is widely distributed in the western third of the U.S., where it is much more common. Missouri's population is disjunct, and also represents the plant's easternmost range. Missouri plants are strongly associated with bluff environments. The common name derives from the numerous pendent heads, which are tassel-like in appearance due to their exserted styles. The opposite, triangular leaves with truncate to cordate bases are also a strong clue to the identity.

Photographs taken in Weldon Spring Conservation Area, St. Charles, MO, 10-15-2011 and 10-8-2012, Garfield County, CO, 8-30-2013, and Rocky Mountain National Park, Larimer County, CO, 7-30-2017 (SRTurner).