Echinacea paradoxa (Norton) Britt. - Yellow Coneflower

Echinacea paradoxa plant

Family - Asteraceae

Stems - Scapose, to +/-75cm tall, multiple from base, erect, herbaceous, glabrous to sparsely strigose, simple, from thickened roots.

Echinacea paradoxa stem

Leaves - Mostly basal, alternate, lowest petiolate, becoming sessile above. Petioles to +/-25cm long. Blade to +30cm long, -3cm broad, scabrous, linear-oblong, acuminate, shiny green above and below. Margins entire but antrorse strigillose. Leaf tissue long tapering at base and creating a wing on the petiole. Leaves quickly reduced upward and absent on upper 2/3 of stem.

Echinacea paradoxa plant

Inflorescence - Single flower head terminating stem.

Involucre - Phyllaries acuminate-attenuate, in 2-3 series, imbricate, to +/-1cm long, 3-4mm broad at base, glabrous with antrorse strigillose margins, recurving with age.

Echinacea paradoxa involucreInvolucre.

Ray flowers - Sterile. Ligule yellow, to 3cm long, 5mm broad, 3-toothed at apex, glabrous. Achene 3-angled, 3mm long(in flower), winged on margins.

Echinacea paradoxa flowers

Disk flowers - Disk to +/-2.5cm in diameter. Flowers fertile. Corolla tube to 3mm long, brownish-purple, 5-lobed, glabrous. Lobes 1mm long, acute. Achene slightly compressed, 3.1mm long, glabrous. Pappus a minute crown or absent. Receptacle conic. Chaff stiff, erect, exceeding the disk flowers, to 1.1cm long, brownish-purple at apex, partially enclosing achene and corolla tube.

Echinacea paradoxa disk

Flowering - May - June.

Habitat - Glades, barrens, bald knobs.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - Definitely not your fathers Echinacea! This plant is only found in the Ozark region of Missouri and Arkansas. It is, however, cultivated elsewhere. The plant is typical of the genus except for brilliant yellow ray ligules. It is easily identified in the field because of its long thin leaves and big conic disk.

Photographs taken off Hwy 60, Van Buren, MO., 5-26-03, and at Busiek State Forest, MO., 6-17-05.


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