Coastalplain goldenaster (Chrysopsis scabrella) was flowering fabulously when Jane Schnee led a Florida Scrub-Jay walk for us on 11/11/2018 at the Wabasso Scrub, a 110-acre conservation area owned by Indian River County. We also saw this plant at the south Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area on 11/10/2018, where it was struggling to survive the overgrowth of scrub oaks and slash pines.
At the Wabasso scrub, it was flourishing along the sunny and sandy trails. A biennial plant, coastalplain goldenaster begins as a whitish green, pubescent rosette of spatulate leaves with toothed margins …
By its second year, this plant will have grown up into a tall stalked plant (often 3’+) with lanceolate stalkless (sessile) leaves that are quite rough (scabrous). It looks like a totally different plant.
The upper leaves get smaller, and the lower leaves often dry out and turn brown as the plant matures.
It flowers profusely in the late fall, usually in October and November with a single terminal branched inflorescence of yellow daisy-like flowers that can last up to one month.
Its petals (rays) are bright yellow and its center (disc) is a bit orangey.
Coastalplain goldenaster is a frequent, showy fall wildflower in dry pinelands and scrub in peninsular Florida. It is almost endemic to Florida, as only a few isolated populations grown in North Carolina & South Carolina. It would make a nice addition to a wildflower planting in a dry sunny yard.