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U.S. Forest Service


Plant of the Week

Map of the United States and Canada showing states. States are colored green where the species may be found. Range map of Verbesina walteri. States are colored green where the species may be found.

Close up of the Verbesina walteri flower. Photo by Shannan SharpPhoto by Shannan Sharp, Botanist USDA Forest Service, Kisatchie National Forest

Verbesina walteri, flowering plant. Photo by Shannan SharpPhoto by Shannan Sharp, Botanist USDA Forest Service, Kisatchie National Forest

Verbesina walteri in a field, photo by Shannan Sharp.Photo by Shannan Sharp, Botanist USDA Forest Service, Kisatchie National Forest

Carolina Crownbeard (Verbesina walteri)

By Shannan Sharp

Carolina crownbeard is a coarse, perennial herb in the aster family (Asteraceae). It grows from 2 to 6 feet tall, blooming and bearing fruit from late August to September. The stem of Carolina crownbeard is unbranched and hairless, with narrow wings that continue down from the leaf bases. The alternate leaves are long and narrow with toothed edges and pointed tips. The flowers of this plant are white and grow in numerous, round heads. Unlike many other plants in the aster family, Carolina crownbeard has no ray flowers. It is similar to wing-stem crownbeard (Verbesina alternifolia) except that plant has yellow flowers with rays.

Carolina crownbeard grows in the Coastal Plain states of the United States. It has recorded occurrences in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. However, it may longer be present in North Carolina and Georgia. This species is uncommon to rare in most of the states where it is found, except in central and southern Louisiana. Large, dense colonies of this plant have been observed in the floodplains of Baton Rouge. In central Louisiana, Carolina crownbeard is frequently found in drains near bridges and culverts.

References

  • Cronquist, Arthur. 1980. Vascular flora of the Southeastern United States, Volume 1: Asteraceae. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2006. Flora of North America, Volume 21, Magnoliophyta: Asteridae, Part 8, Asteraceae, Part 3. Oxford University Press, New York, New York. Accessed through: Flora of North America Online (http://www.eFloras.org).
  • Godfrey, Robert K., and J. W. Wooten. 1981. Aquatic and wetland plant of the southeastern United States, dicotyledons. University of Georgia Press, Athens, Georgia.
  • NatureServe. 2011. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available at https://explorer.natureserve.org/.
  • Radford, Albert E., H. E. Ahles and C. R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Additional Information