Hasteola suaveolens (L.) Pojark.
False Indian Plantain
Family - Asteraceae
Stem - Erect, to >1 m, unbranched, glabrous.
Stem and leaves.
Leaves - Basal and alternate. Lower leaves petiolate, hastate, sharply toothed. Upper leaves progressively smaller, with shorter petioles and hastate lobing reduced or absent.
Inflorescence - Terminal panicle, sometimes also smaller axillary panicles.
Involucre - Cylindrical to narrowly bell-shaped, 10-14 mm. Bracts in two series, outer shorter and spreading, inner longer and appressed. Inner bracts typically whitened near apex, especially in bud.
Florets - Disk florets 20-45 per head. Corollas 8-12 mm long, white or cream colored. Pappus of numerous capillary bristles. Rays absent.
Flowering - July - September.
Habitat - Bottomland forests, streambanks.
Origin - Native to the U.S.
Other info. - This striking species is found in Missouri only in a few counties, mostly in the east-central part of the state. It is perhaps most striking when in bud, with the spreading outer involucral bracts and nearly white inner bract tips giving rise to a characteristic "starry" appearance. When open, the flowering heads attract numerous insects. Another name for this plant is Senecio suaveolens
Photographs taken along Tuque Creek, 8-19-2010, at Little Lost Creek Conservation Area, Warren County, MO, 7-12-2012, 9-6-2015, and 9-6-2016, and along the Chubb Trail, 8-29-2017 (SRTurner).