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
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
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.