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..
Perennial, pubescent or scabrous herbs (some tropical species shrubby), with alternate or opposite dentate leaves often decurrent on the stem and branches, and corymbose or solitary heads of both tubular and radiate yellow or white flowers, or the rays sometimes wanting. Involucre campanulate or hemispheric, its bracts imbricated in few series. Receptacle convex or conic, chaffy, the chaff embracing the disk-flowers. Ray-flowers pistillate or neutral. Disk-flowers perfect, mostly fertile, their corollas with an expanded 5-lobed limb, usually longer than the tube. Style-branches of the disk-flowers with acute papillose appendages. Achenes flattened, or those of the ray-flowers 3-sided. Pappus of 2 (1-3) subulate awns, sometimes with 2 or 3 intermediate scales. [The daughter of Helios.]
A large genus, mainly natives of the New World. Besides the following, about 6 others occur in the southern and southwestern United States. Type species: Phaethusa americana Gaertn.
Involucre campanulate, 2"-3" broad; heads small, numerous. Leaves alternate; rays white.
1. P. virginica.
Leaves opposite; rays yellow.
2. P. occidentalis.
Involucre hemispheric, 7 -12 broad; heads few, large.
3. P. helianthoides.
Verbesina virginica L. Sp. Pl. 901. 1753.
Perennial; stem densely puberulent, terete or winged, simple or branched, 3°-6° high. Leaves usually thin, alternate, ovate, roughish above, puberulent, canescent or glabrate beneath, acute or acuminate at the apex, 4'-10' long, 1'-3' wide, contracted at the base into winged petioles, the uppermost sessile, lanceolate, smaller, often entire; heads corymbose-paniculate at the ends of the stem and branches, numerous, 6"-10" broad; involucre oblong-campanulate, 2"-3" broad, its bracts narrowly lanceolate, erect, obtuse, pubescent; rays 3-5, obovate, white, pistillate; achenes minutely pubescent, winged or wingless; pappus of 2 slender awns, or sometimes none.
In dry soil, Pennsylvania to Virginia, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Florida and Texas. Aug.-Sept.
Perennial; stem glabrous, or puberulent above, usually much branched, narrowly 4-winged, 3°-7° high, the branches also winged and pubescent. Leaves thin, ovate, or the upper oblong, opposite, minutely rough-pubescent on both sides, or gla-brate, acuminate at the apex, narrowed or contracted below into slender margined or naked petiole, serrate, 4'-10' long, 1'-3 1/2' wide; heads numerous, 6"-12" broad, corymbose at the ends of the stem and branches; involucre oblong-cam-panulate, 2"-3" broad, its bracts lanceolate, obtuse, erect, or the tips slightly spreading, pubescent; rays 1-5, yellow, usually pistillate, rarely none; achenes wingless; pappus of 2 slender, at length divergent awns.
In dry thickets and on hillsides, Maryland and southern Pennsylvania to Illinois, Florida, Alabama and Texas. Aug.-Oct.
Verbesina helian hoides Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 2: 135.
1803. Actinomeris helianthoides Nutt. Gen. 2: 181. 1818.
Perennial; stem hispid or hirsute, 4-winged, usually simple, 2°-4° high. Leaves ovate or oval, sessile, acute, acuminate or obtuse at the apex, narrowed at the base, serrate or serrulate, rough or appressed-hispid above, densely pubescent or canes-cent beneath, 2'-4' long, 1'-1 1/2' wide, all alternate, or the lower opposite; heads solitary or few, 2'-3' broad; involucre hemispheric, about 4' high, its bracts lanceolate, acutish, canescent, appressed; rays 8-15, pistillate or neutral, linear-oblong, yellow; achenes scabrous or pubescent, broadly winged; pappus of 2 subulate awns.
On dry prairies and in thickets, Ohio to Georgia, west to Iowa, Missouri and Texas. June-July.