Scientific Name: Verbesina occidentalis

Common Name: stickweed

Other Common Names: yellow crownbeard

Synonyms: Phaethusa occidentalis

Habit: This plant has oval, hairless cotyledons, and develops from a basal crown. It can be found flowering from late summer through early fall. The stems can be found through the winter, long after the plant has died.

Leaves: The lanceolate leaves grow from 3 to 8 inches in length and 1 to 3 inches wide. The leaves have a serrated margin and are generally hairless.

Identifying Characteristics: This plant has distinctive wings that run the length of the stems. Wingstem is similar to stickweed, but can be distinguished by its alternate leaves.

Flower Seed Head: The yellow flowers occur in clusters at the ends of the stems. Each flower is composed of smaller disc flowers in the center, and ray flowers along the edges. The ray flowers grow from 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches in length.

Seed Fruit: The seeds develop inside a brown nutlet.

Where Found: This plant prefers full or partial sunlight in moist soil. It can normally be found growing in fertile soils near woodland areas, rivers, pastures and abandoned fields.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Asteraceae

  • Leaf arrangement: opposite

  • Leaf shape: lance; oval

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: serrated

  • Stem hairs: no hairs; has hairs

  • Flower color: yellow

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody; woody bush or tree

  • Stem: square or multi-edged; round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs

  • Flower symmetry: bilateral symetry; not symmetrical

  • Flower diameter: dime; larger; half dollar; quarter; nickle

  • Root structure: bulb/corm/enlarged stem/nutlet; fibrous

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf