Annual or perennial herb to 0.7 m tall Stem: stiffly upright, usually branched above, covered with grayish, star-shaped hairs. Leaves: alternate, stalkless, 2 - 5 cm long, nearing 1 cm wide, reverse lance-shaped with a rounded to pointed tip, covered with grayish, star-shaped hairs. Flowers: in dense, rounded clusters, white, 5 - 7 mm long. Petals four, deeply two-lobed. Stamens six. Ovary green, densely hairy. Fruit: a thick pod, 5 - 8 mm long, 3 - 4 mm wide, elliptic, nearly round in cross-section, thinly hairy. Seeds three to six per chamber.
Similar species: Berteroa incana is the only representative of the genus Berteroa in the Chicago Region. Its deeply lobed petals and grayish, star-shaped hairs are distinctive.
Flowering: late May to late September
Habitat and ecology: Introduced from Europe. A common weed of roadsides and fields. It also grows along railroad tracks.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Etymology: Berteroa refers to the Italian physician C.G.L. Bertero (1789-1831) who botanized in Guadeloupe and other West Indian islands. Incana means hoary; gray or silver colored.
Stellate-canescent annual to perennial, stiffly erect, usually branched above, to 7 dm; lvs oblanceolate, (1-)2-5 cm, acute, entire; fls white, 3 mm wide; fr elliptic, plump, thinly hairy, 5-8 נ3-4 mm, convex over the whole surface; seeds 3-6 per locule; 2n=16. Native of Europe, established as a weed throughout much of our range, especially northward.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.