Narrowleaf silkgrass (Pityopsis graminifolia) is wonderful late summer and fall wildflower of dry places with bright yellow daisy-like flowers. Its dime- or nickel-sized flowers grow at the very ends of its flower stalks and are visited by a plethora of pollinators. Its dry ‘fruits’ known as achenes are eaten by birds.
Its fabulous foliage is a striking silvery color and grass-like, as its misleading common name, silkgrass, suggests.
Its species name, graminifolia, also refers to its grass-like foliage, which is a favorite food of gopher tortoises. The grass family – now known by the term Poaceae – once was called Graminaceae. From its daisy-like flowers, you know that this pretty plant must be a member of the aster family, Asteraceae.
Narrowleaf silkgrass is flourishing at the south Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area, as the roller-chopping performed for fire safety this winter has opened up large sunny areas. This plant sometimes will form small, showy mats and could be an excellent landscape plant in a very dry & sunny location.