This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Erect hispid, mostly branching, leafy herbs, with alternate leaves (in our species), and rather large, usually corymbose or paniculate heads of yellow flowers. Involucre campanulate or cup-shaped, its principal bracts in 1 series, nearly equal, with 2-3 series of small or large exterior spreading ones. Receptacle flat, short-fimbrillate. Rays truncate and 5-toothed at the apex. Anthers sagittate at the base. Style-branches slender. Achenes linear or oblong, somewhat incurved, terete or angled, 5-10-ribbed and transversely wrinkled, narrowed at the base and summit, or beaked in some species. Pappus of 1 or 2 series of slender plumose bristles. [Greek, bitter.]
About 35 species, natives of the Old World, one perhaps indigenous in Alaska. Type species: Picris aspienioides L.
Outer involucral bracts linear; achenes not beaked.
1. P. hieracioides.
Outer involucral bracts ovate, foliaceous; achenes short-beaked.
2. P. echioides.
Picris hieracioides L. Sp. Pl. 792. 1753.
Biennial, more or less hispid, much branched, 1°-3° high. Leaves lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, dentate, or nearly entire, the basal narrowed into petioles, acute, often 6' long, those of the stem mostly sessile and smaller; heads numerous, 1/2'-1' broad; involucre 4"-6" high, its outer bracts linear, subulate, spreading, the inner linear-lanceolate,acuminate; pappus copious, nearly white.
In waste places, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and in ballast about the seaports. Adventive from Europe. Native also of Asia. Very bitter. June-Sept. Old name lang-de-beei.
Picris echinoides L. Sp. Pl. 792. 1753.
Helmintha echinoides Gaertn. Fruct. & Sem. 2: 368. 1802.
Annual or biennial, branched, hispid; stem about 21/2° high. Basal and lower leaves spatu-late or oblong, obtuse, repand-dentate, 2'-6' long, narrowed into petioles; upper leaves sessile and clasping, oblong or lanceolate, smaller, the uppermost mainly acute and entire; heads numerous, rather crowded, short-peduncled, about 1/2' broad; outer bracts of the involucre 4 or 5, foliaceous, ovate, acute, hispid-ciliate, the inner ones lanceolate, membranous; achenes beaked.
In waste places, Nova Scotia and Ontario to Pennsylvania, and in ballast about the seaports. Also in California. Adventive from Europe. July-Sept. Called also bugloss and bugloss-picris.