(Erigeron annus) Thistle family Flower-heads - Numerous, daisy-like, about 1/2 in. across; from 40 to 70 long, fine, white rays (or purple- or pink-tinged), arranged around yellow disk florets in a rough, hemispheric cup whose bracts overlap. Stem: Erect, to 4 ft. high,

branching above, with spreading, rough hairs. Leaves: Thin, lower ones ovate, coarsely toothed, petioled; upper ones sessile, becoming smaller, lance-shaped. Preferred Habitat: Fields, wasteland, roadsides. Flowering Season: May-November. Distribution: Nova Scotia to Virginia, westward to Missouri. At a glance one knows this flower to be akin to Robin's plantain (q.v.) the the asters and daisy. A smaller, more delicate species, with mostly entire leaves and appressed hairs (E. ramosus; E. strigosum of Gray) has a similar range and season of bloom. Both soon grow hoary-headed after they have been fertilized by countless insects crawling over them (Erigeron = early old). That either of these plants, or the pinkish, small-flowered, strong-scented SALT-MARSH FLEABANE (Pluchea camphorata), drive away fleas, is believed only by those who have not used them dried, reduced to powder, and sprinkled in kennels, from which, however, they have been known to drive away dogs. GROUNDSEL-BUSH or -TREE; PENCIL-TREE (Baccharis halimifolia) Thistle family Flower-heads: White or yellowish tubular florets, 1 to 5 in peduncled clusters. Staminate and pistillate clusters on different shrubs; the former almost round at first, the latter conspicuous only when seeding; then their pappus is white, and about 1/3 in. long. Stem: A smooth, branching shrub, 3 to 10 ft. high. Leaves: Thick, lower ones ovate to wedge-shaped, coarsely angular-toothed; upper ones smaller, few-toothed or entire. Preferred Habitat: Salt marshes, tidewater streams, often far from the coast. Flowering Season: September-November Distribution: The Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Maine to Texas. When the little bright white, silky cockades, clustered at the ends of the branches, appear on a female groundsel-bush in autumn, our eyes are attracted to the shrub for the first time. But had not small pollen carriers discovered it weeks before, the scaly, glutinous cups would hold no charming, plumed seeds ready to ride on autumn gales. Self-fertilization has been guarded against by precarious means, but the safest of all devices - separation of the sexes on distinct plants. These are absolutely dependent, of course, on insect messengers - not visitors merely. Bees, which always show less inclination to dally from one species of flower to another than any other guests, and more intelligent directness of purpose when out for business are the groundsel-bush's truest benefactors. This is the only shrub among the multitudinous composite clan that most of us are ever likely to see. PEARLY or LARGE-FLOWERED EVERLASTING; IMMORTELLE; SILVER LEAF;


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