Coastplain goldenaster: Biennial Generational Differences?

 

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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 …

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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.

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The upper leaves get smaller, and the lower leaves often dry out and turn brown as the plant matures.

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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.

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Its petals (rays) are bright yellow and its center (disc) is a bit orangey.

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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.