Heterotheca latifolia Buckley
Family - Asteraceae
Stems - To +1.5m tall, erect to ascending, multiple from base, herbaceous, from taproot, branching, scabrous to viscid, hirsute, glandular, reddish.
Leaves - Alternate, sessile(the lowest sometimes petiolate), auriculate-clasping, viscid, glandular, hirsute, fragrant, serrate-dentate(teeth mucronate), undulate, to 5cm long, 3cm broad, acute, dense on stem. Lower leaves with two small lateral lobes at base. Upper leaves simple.
Inflorescence - Single flower heads terminating branches.
Involucre - Cylindrical, to +8mm tall, 1cm in diameter. Phyllaries viscid, sparse pubescent externally, glabrous internally, imbricate, linear, the longest to 7mm long, 1mm broad. Margins scarious. Sometimes with reddish tip.
Ray flowers - Flowers fertile. Corolla tube pubescent. Ligule yellow, 1.4cm long, 2.1mm broad, glabrous. Achene (in flower) white, thickened, 2mm long, somewhat triangular, mostly glabrous. Pappus absent.
Disk flowers - Disk to 1cm broad. Corolla yellow, 5-lobed, glabrous, to 4.5mm long. Lobes acute, -1mm long. Stamens 5, adnate at base of corolla tube, included. Anthers yellow, 2.2mm long, connate around style. Style bifurcate, slightly exserted. Achenes dense pubescent, 2mm long, white, weakly 4-angled. Pappus in two series. Outer series of short scales. Inner series of capillary bristles. Receptacle flat.
Flowering - August - November.
Habitat - Loess hills, waste ground, roadsides, railroads.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This species can be found mainly in the southeast corner of the state but is also present in a few more scattered counties. This is a fairly easy plant to ID in the field. The glandular hirsute stems and leaves plus the cylindric involucres are good characteristics for a positive ID. The leaves are also fragrant. Many taxonomists disagree about the nomenclature of the plant but let's not worry about that here.
Photographs taken in Vale, NC., 8-23-03.