Autumn sneezeweed grows in moist areas in meadows, prairies, ditches, and along streams. Like other sneezeweeds, it contains toxic, bitter substances, and grazing animals, including cattle, avoid eating it.
Sneezeweeds were used historically by Native Americans and pioneers as snuff. Inhaling the dried, powdered disk florets caused violent, prolonged sneezing, and people did this as a way of alleviating colds, stuffy noses, headache, and other maladies.
Despite its coarse-sounding name, bastard toadflax is one of the hundreds of wildflowers that bejewel our native prairies. A perennial herb with yellowish-green foliage and smooth, upright stems, it grows and flowers under the hottest conditions.
Bastard toadflax is a perennial herb with yellowish-green foliage and smooth, upright stems. It grows and flowers on dry or rocky uplands, glades, and prairies, under the hottest conditions, May through July.
The flowers of bastard toadflax are whitish or cream-colored and grow in small, flattened clusters at the tops of stalks. The leaves are narrow, oblong, alternate, stalkless, to 1½ inches long, and yellowish green on both sides. The plant usually only grows to 1 foot high.
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