Native. Annual. Propagates by seeds.
Time of bloom: July to September.
Seed-time: August to October.
Range: Newfoundland to the Northwest Territory, southward to Florida, Louisiana, and Mexico. Habitat: Woodland borders and recently cleared land, especially if burned over.
Coarse plants, with a rank odor and juices most nauseous to the taste. It is a medicinal herb for which collectors receive two or three cents a pound, the whole plant being pulled and dried just before bloom, in which process the leaves turn black.
Stem two to eight feet tall, erect, smooth or only slightly hairy, succulent, grooved, usually with ascending branches. Leaves lance-shaped, thin; irregularly cut and toothed, the lower ones narrowing to margined petioles, the upper ones sessile, clasping, often auricled at base. Flowers in open terminal panicles, the heads greenish white, the flowers all tubular and fertile, hardly exceeding the nearly cylindric, smooth involucre, which is slightly swollen at the base. Achenes oblong, with very glistening, fine, white pappus. (Fig. 350.)
Fig. 349. - Butterfly Dock (Petasites vulgaris). X 1/6.
Fig. 350.- Fireweed (Erechtitea hieracifolia). X 1/6.
Prevent seed production by pulling or close cutting before the first flowers mature.