Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Wingstem - Verbesina alternifolia   (L.) Britton ex Kearney
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Verbesina with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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Author(L.) Britton ex Kearney
DistributionMountains and Piedmont; a few places on the Coastal Plain with Piedmont ecology.

NY to southern Ont. and IA, south to northwestern FL and LA.
AbundanceCommon in the Mountains and Piedmont; uncommon to locally infrequent at the western edge of the Coastal Plain, essentially along brownwater river floodplains.
HabitatA primarily wetland species -- brownwater river floodplains and bottomlands, openings and clearings in such forests, marshes, low meadows, wet thickets, and low places in powerline clearings.
See also Habitat Account for General Open, Wet Herblands
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-September.
IdentificationWingstem is easily identified by its tall stems 3-8 feet tall that are winged longitudinally by tissue from decurrent leaf bases. Leaves are numerous, alternate on the stem, lance-shape or elliptic, sharply toothed, and narrowed to a stalk. Heads are numerous in an open array, and large -- the ray florets are 1-3 cm long and bright yellow. The disks are prominent, dome-shape, and yellow. Yellow Crownbeard (V. occidentalis) is very similar but always has opposite leaves. Both of these plants grow in similar places, can essentially grow together, and seem to be thriving along the margins of sewerline clearings through alluvial forests. In some places, each can be a dominant forb, quickly invading wetland disturbances -- acting quite weedy at times.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Yellow Ironweed
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
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USACE-empFAC link
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B.A. SorriePiedmont, bank of Deep River, upstream of Carbonton, Sept 2014. MoorePhoto_natural

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