Fall Flowers: Curious about Crownbeard?

White crownbeard, crownbeard, Virginia crownbeard, frostweed, and angel wings (Verbesina virginica) are among the many common names ascribed to this striking herbaceous perennial that is found throughout the eastern U.S. The common name frostweed alludes to the dramatic icicles that form along its winged stems in freezing temperatures when fluids released by the plant freeze.

White crownbead grows to be from 1 1/2 to 8′ tall and be recognized by its distinctive ruffly winged stems and scabrous (rough), hairy lobed leaves …

The alternate leaves are toothed (usually) and paler below.

White crownbeard is a tall, very often growing to be more than 6′ tall. It stands out along hammock margins and along roadways including Oslo Road around the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) and along Highway A1A from Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge to Sebastian Inlet State Park.

Clusters (corymbs) of white flowers held on long stalks are quite showy even at 55 mph …

White crownbeard is a member of the daisy family, Asteraceae. Multiple “petals” (rays), usually from 1 to 5, surround a disk of 8 to 12 florets. Look closely, and you will see that the pistil is surrounded tightly by dark purple stamens.

Pollinators including lovebugs, skippers, bees, and butterflies visit the flowers …

White crownbeard thrives in a variety of habitats and conditions including wooded and open sites, hammocks margins, and roadsides and can be an attractive addition to your landscape. It is tolerant of partial shade, as well as moist or dry conditions. Flowering is profuse in full sun.

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