Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Cottony Golden-aster - Chrysopsis gossypina   (Michaux) Elliott
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Chrysopsis with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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Author(Michaux) Elliott
DistributionCoastal Plain, including barrier islands, Sandhills, and lowermost southern Piedmont. However, scarce in the northern counties.

Coastal Plain, southeastern VA to central FL and southwestern GA.
AbundanceCommon in much of the southern and central Coastal Plain, at least within Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) stands. Rare to uncommon in the northern and northeastern counties. Very rare in the southeastern Piedmont edge.
HabitatXeric to dry Longleaf Pine-oak-Wiregrass woodlands, pine-oak scrub, sand ridges, bay rims, openings in maritime forests.
See also Habitat Account for Xeric-Mesic Sand Barrens and Glades
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting September-October.
IdentificationThis is a very handsome plant! One to several stems radiate from a central taproot and creep on the ground, with only the outer portions becoming semi-erect to erect. The whole plant is mostly covered with dense, white, cottony or cobwebby hairs, giving the plant a pale green color. Heads are terminal, with bright yellow rays and disks. Naked Golden-aster (Chrysopsis trichophylla) is similar, its but leaves and stems are glabrate or with sparse woolly hairs.
Taxonomic CommentsIn older texts placed in the genus Heterotheca.

Other Common Name(s)Woolly Golden-aster, Cottonleaf Golden-aster
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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US Status
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B.A. SorrieSandhills Game Land, xeric roadside, early Oct 2007. ScotlandPhoto_natural

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