Yellow Crownbeard, Verbesina occidentalis
Asteraceae or Sunflower Family


Very tall herb, 3-10 feet tall.  Stem winged, that is, it has thin ridges running down the stem as in the picture below center.  Leaves wide lance-shaped or oblong.  Leaves opposite each other.  Buds (below left) resemble green flowers with 5 "petals," actually bracts. Flower heads in a large branching cluster.  Each flower head with about 10 or fewer yellow, spreading ray flowers around a nearly spherical, untidy button of greenish yellow disc flowers.  Blooms in late summer.

Native plant of open areas.  Common in Wildwood, especially in the Great South Meadow.

No other member of this family in Wildwood has the untidy looking flowers and winged stems of crownbeard, except its sister species wingstem (V. alternifolia). Wingstem, however, has upper leaves not opposite each other, and the ray flowers droop dramatically.

Population Flower buds

 Stem showing wings

Closeup of flowerheads

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