Sneezeweed in Winter

by Carl Strang

Sneezeweed is one of many yellow-flowered composites that bloom in late summer into autumn.

The ray flowers have interesting, 3-parted tips and are shorter in proportion to the bulbous disk than many similar species.

The ray flowers have interesting, 3-parted tips and are shorter in proportion to the bulbous disk than many similar species.

The name implies a traditional use as a cold remedy, but I have not run across a confirmation of this. Sneezeweed grows in wet to mesic prairies and wetland edges.

By mid-October the plant’s top has begun to senesce.

By mid-October the plant’s top has begun to senesce.

The rays drop off, the yellow centers become brown as seeds ripen.

By late November, seeds have begun to fall off, leaving the white buttons of their bases.

By late November, seeds have begun to fall off, leaving the white buttons of their bases.

The simple leaves curl and brown, collapsing against the stem.

The stem itself becomes strongly ridged.

The stem itself becomes strongly ridged.

And another winter botany chapter is complete.

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