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Content tagged with "fall wildflower"

Photo of field dominated by blooming bitterweed, with cattle trying to graze it.

Bitterweed (Bitter Sneezeweed; Yellow Dog-Fennel)

Bitterweed, and other sneezeweeds, are called “increasers” in pastures. This means that when a field is overgrazed, these plants tend to increase, and maybe even take over the whole field, over time. In this case, bitter, toxic chemicals in the plant cause cattle to avoid eating them and instead to eat nearly any other plant within reach.

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Photo of blooming bitterweed plant shown from top.

Bitterweed (Bitter Sneezeweed; Yellow Dog-Fennel)

The weediest sneezeweed in Missouri, bitterweed arrived here in the late 1800s from its home range in Texas and Louisiana. Like other sneezeweeds, it has domed disks and yellow fan-shaped, notched ray florets. Unlike them, the leaves are narrowly linear.

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Photo of bitterweed flowerheads.

Bitterweed (Bitter Sneezeweed; Yellow Dog-Fennel)

Once you learn to identify sneezeweeds in general, with their distinctive dome-shaped disks and fan-shaped ray flowers, use other characteristics to determine species. Here, the fewer (5–10) ray flowers and narrowly linear leaves separate bitterweed from our other common all-yellow sneezeweed, autumn sneezeweed.

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Photo of blooming bitterweed plant shown from top.

Bitterweed (Bitter Sneezeweed; Yellow Dog-Fennel)

Helenium amarum
Our weediest sneezeweed, bitterweed arrived in Missouri in the late 1800s from its home range in Texas and Louisiana. Like our other heleniums, it has domed disks and yellow, fan-shaped, notched ray florets. Unlike them, the leaves are narrowly linear.

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Photo of black medick closeup of cloverlike yellow flowerhead

Black Medick

Medicago lupulina
The small, cloverlike flowering heads and trifoliate leaves of black medick are clues that this plant is in the Fabaceae, the bean or pea family. An introduced, weedy species, it is closely related to alfalfa.

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Photo of black medick, a yellow, cloverlike wildflower, held in a hand

Black Medick

Black medick occurs in fields, lawns, waste places, and along roads and railroads. A native of Eurasia and Africa, it was introduced and has naturalized across much of North America. It is a nutritious but low-yielding legume for grazing animals and is not much planted in our area.

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Photo of black medick closeup of cloverlike yellow flowerhead

Black Medick (Flower)

The small, cloverlike flowering heads and trifoliate leaves of black medick are clues that this plant is in the Fabaceae, the bean or pea family. An introduced, weedy species, it is closely related to alfalfa.

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Photo of black-eyed Susan flowerhead.

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan is popular as a native garden ornamental and is often sold as a cut flower. Historically, Native Americans used this and other Rudbeckia species medicinally.

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Photo of black-eyed Susan flowerheads.

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan is a tremendously popular native wildflower for gardening. It’s also commonly planted along roadways, so when it’s blooming, May through October, you’re sure to see it somewhere.

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Photo of several black-eyed Susan flowers.

Black-Eyed Susan

Its profusion of cheery, bright yellow flowers make black-eyed Susan one of our most beloved wildflowers. It is one of nine species of Rudbeckia recorded in Missouri, and it is the most familiar.

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