Mayweed; Chamomile (Anthemis Cotula) (European) is also a common weed found by the wayside in company with the last species. The stem is very branchy, 8 to 20 inches high. The leaves are very finely divided. The strong, unpleasant odor of the foliage will at once correct the impression that it may be a daisy. The flowers are very similar to those of the common White Daisy except for their smaller size. Very common about dwellings and along roadsides everywhere.
A. Sneezeweed. Helenium autumnale.
B. Tansy. Tanacetum vulgare.
Sneezeweed (Helenium Autumnale) is a beautiful, rather odd, plant that brightens meadows and swamps during August and Sept. The stem is rather stout, smooth and branching; it ascends from 2 to 6 feet. Alternating along the stem, are numerous ovate, pointed, sharply-toothed, bright green leaves, - short-stemmed and strongly veined.
It is the blossoms that attract our attention for, besides being very handsome, they are unusual in form. The hemispherical center is composed of closely packed tubular florets and is surrounded by a num-be: of broad, toothed, golden-yellow rays; the heads have an expanse of 1 to 2 inches. Both the tubular and the yellow, pistillate rays are fertile. The flowers are frequented by numbers of various kinds of bees and many small butterflies. The disc florets secrete an abundance of nectar in their tubes.
Although this plant has little odor, the foliage is very bitter and cattle soon learn to avoid the leaves. Sneezeweed or "Swamp Sunflower" is common along brooks, river banks and in wet ground generally, from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Tansy; Bitter Buttons (Tanacetum Vulgare) (European) is one of those lusty, foreign plants that take so kindly to our soil and climate that they try to over-run the country. This species is abundant everywhere about houses and along roads, from the Atlantic to the Rocky Mountains, and is gradually extending its range towards the Pacific.
The foliage is very bitter and is the foundation of many an old fashioned remedy. The flowers grow in flat-topped clusters and are composed of round discs, or "buttons," of tubular florets only. It is a species not to be mistaken; it has an appearance, an odor and a taste of its own. It blooms from July until the end of September.
A. Golden Ragwort. Senecio aureus. B. Arnica. Arnica mollis.
As the blue asters have a similar representative, early in the year, in the form of Robin's Plantain, so the yellow asters or sunflowers have theirs, too, in this species. In latter March and early April, Ragwort shows simply a tuft of stemmed, heart-shaped leaves, resembling those of violets. A little later a stem ascends from the perennial root; a slender, tough, angular, twisting stem that finally reaches heights of 1 to 3 feet; a single stem, or two or three, may rise from the same root. During May and June, they carry at their summit a loose cluster of bright, orange-yellow flowers. These are deeper colored than most of the Fall asters, in fact they are almost the same shade as the rays of the common Cone Flower. Each flower is composed of but 8 to 12 narrow, orange-yellow rays, surrounding a central cluster of tubular florets of a brownish-orange color.
The stem leaves are chiefly sessile; they are oblong in shape but deeply cut or pinnatifid, the terminal section being less so than the basal half. Ragwort grows most abundantly and most luxuriantly in swamps or moist ground, but is also found in dry places or stony pastures. Its range extends from Newfoundland to Wisconsin and southwards to Va. and Mo.