Helenium autumnale L.

Helenium autumnale plant

Family - Asteraceae

Stems - No info. yet.

Helenium autumnale stem

Leaves - No info. yet.

Helenium autumnale leaves

Inflorescence - No info. yet.

Involucre -No info. yet.

Ray flowers - No info. yet.

Helenium autumnale flowers

Disk flowers - No info. yet.

Helenium autumnale flowersMature flowerhead.

Flowering - August - November.

Habitat - Moist ground along streams, ponds, ditches, wet meadows, wet prairies, wet open ground.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This species can be found throughout most of Missouri but is absent from the extreme southeastern corner of the state. The plant is simple to identify in the field because of its heavily winged stems, and solid yellow flowers heads. Another winged species, H. flexuosum Raf., has flowerheads with yellow rays and dark brown disk flowers.
H. autumnale was used traditionally to treat many ailments. A snuff of dried and powdered plants was used to treat colds. This snuff induces sneezing. A lactone found in the plant, Helenalin, shows very good antitumor activity. This same compound is toxic to invertebrates as well as fish. The plant is also ignored by cattle and livestock.
As the species epithet would indicate, this species blooms in the fall.

Photographs taken along the shores of the Current River, Shannon County, MO., 9-20-03.


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