Hairy (Yellow) Leafcup – A Sure Sign of Fall


Another sure sign of the advent of Fall at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area are the sunny yellow flowers of the tall, perennial plant, hairy leafcup (Smallanthus uvedelia) at the park entrance.  This plant dies back to the ground each winter, grows throughout the eastern U.S., and is listed as endangered in New York and New Jersey.   According to herbarium records, Brevard County is its southern limit.

Its large, opposite lobed leaves are distinctive, rough to the touch, and reportedly resemble a bear’s paw, which is another common name for this plant.


Sometimes, but not always, its hollow, erect stems are marked with purple striations …


The genus name, Smallanthus, honors botanical explorer, John Kunkel Small (1869-1938) and is not a reference to leaf size.  Until recently, the genus of this plant was Polymnia.

1 comment

  1. what a neat plant! this is the first plant I saw when I first visited OSLO years ago and always wondered what the name of it was. Leafcup seems appropriate from the way the leaves cup the flower. very nice website setup.


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