Plants 10-50(-120+) cm (annuals, internodes not winged). Leaves all or mostly alternate (proximal usually opposite); blades deltate-ovate or rhombic to lanceolate, 3-8(-12+) × 2-4(-6+) cm, bases broadly cuneate to ± truncate, margins coarsely toothed to subentire, apices acute to attenuate, faces strigoso-scabrellous to sericeous. Heads usually borne singly, sometimes 2-3+ in loose, cymiform or corymbiform arrays. Involucres ± hemispheric to saucerlike, 10-20+ mm diam. Phyllaries 12-18+ in 1-2 series, ± erect to spreading, lance-ovate or lance-linear to linear, 6-8+ mm. Ray florets (8-)12-15+; laminae 8-10(-20+) mm. Disc florets 80-150+; corollas yellow. Cypselae dark brown to blackish, narrowly obovate, 3.5-5+ mm, faces ± strigillose; pappi 0.5-1(-2) mm (0 on ray cypselae). 2n = 34. Flowering Aug-Oct. Swales, disturbed sites; 10-2500 m; Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Fla., Ga., Ill., Iowa, Kans., La., Mo., Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Utah, Wyo.; Mexico; West Indies; South America; introduced in Asia, Pacific Islands (Hawaii), Australia. Native distribution of Verbesina encelioides in the flora area is uncertain. Plants of Verbesina encelioides from ca. 100°W (e.g., c Texas) and eastward usually have auriculate petiole bases and have been called var. encelioides; plants from the west usually lack auricles and have been called var. exauriculata.
Erect annual 2-10 dm, the stem and lower lf-surfaces strigose-canescent, the upper lf-surfaces sometimes greener but still strigose; lvs alternate (except the lower), ovate or deltoid, sometimes rather narrowly so, rather coarsely toothed, especially near the base, 4-13 נ2-10 cm; petiole well developed, commonly auriculate-dilated at base; heads long-pedunculate in an open infl, the disk 13-20 mm wide infl; invol bracts loose or a little spreading, scarcely imbricate, canescently strigose or hirsute; rays 10-15, pistillate, yellow, evidently trilobed, 1-1.5 cm; achenes winged, a little spreading but not reflexed, the fruiting head hemispheric; 2n=34. Open, often waste places; native of Mex. and sw. U.S., casually intr. with us, especially westward. May-Oct. (Ximenesia e.; X. exauriculata) Ours is var. encelioides.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
FNA 2006, Jepson 1993, Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougall 1973
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Herbaceous annuals, to 120 cm tall, much-branched, herbage canescent, plants with a taproot, ill-smelling. Leaves: Alternate, proximal sometimes opposite, narrowly lanceolate to triangular-ovate, 3-10 cm long and 1-5 cm wide, 3-veined from the base, dentate with teeth projecting outwards and acute or acuminate tips, white strigose beneath but dull green above, borne on slender petioles 3 cm long or less. Flowers: Heads radiate, rays orange-yellow, the tips 3-lobed, the ligules 10-15 mm long, disk flowers yellow, corollas 5-6 mm, the receptacles conical, with thin bracts partially enclosing the achenes, involucres hemispheric to campanulate, phyllaries slender, densely strigose, in 2-4 series, linear to ovate, heads borne in corymbose arrays on long peduncles. Fruits: Disk achenes brown to black, flat, obovoid and 2-winged, the wings wide and white, 4-5 mm long and to 2 mm wide. Pappus awns 2, 1-2.5 mm long. Ecology: Found in disturbed areas, roadsides, and fields, from 3000-8500 ft (914-2591 m); flowering April-September. Distribution: Kansas to Montana, south to Texas, california, and Mexico. Notes: Good identifiers for this species are the petioled leaves which are densely white-strigose beneath and green above, and the annual plants, much-branched, with numerous heads. Ethnobotany: An infusion of the dried, crushed leaves or blossoms was taken for stomach troubles, the petals were chewed for good luck in hunting, a hollow piece of the dried stem was used in a procedure to rid corn of cutworms, a compound poultice of the root applied with much ceremony to rattlesnake bite. The seeds were used for food, the plant was soaked in bath water, used to make antelope prayer sticks in Plumeway, and the flowers were hung in the hogan or worn in a hat band as protection from lightning. Etymology: Verbesina is derived from Verbena, while encelioides means like or resembling the genus Encelia and exauriculata means without auricles. Synonyms: Many, see Tropicos Editor: LCrumbacher 2011