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American Burnweed

Erechtites hieracifolia (L.) Raf.

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

▲ ▼ young plants

▲ ▼ young plants 

▲  young plants 

▲ leaves and stem

▲▼ plants with flower buds 

▲▼ plants with flower buds  


▲▼  mature flowering plants



  mature flowering plants

▲▼  fruit


Erechtites hieraciifolius (L.) Raf. ex DC., American Burnweed, Pilewort:  (Bayer Code:  EREHI; US Code ERHI2)

·         U.S. native, mostly-unbranched, rapidly-growing summer annual weed that grows 3-9 feet tall

·         Leaves and stems are bright green, fleshy, lanceolate with shallow teeth along the margin (more toward leaf-tip); some plants have deeper pointed lobes, with teeth along their margins, while others may have unlobed leaves with tiny teeth on margins

·         Flowers are in open, terminal clusters, similar to horseweed (Conyza canadensis), but burnweed’s flowers are larger, and not as many as horseweed; similar to horseweed, flowers don’t open much, similar to horseweed

·         Bracts below inflorescence are linear to thread-like and in several rows; tips of bracts may stand out slightly away from base of head

·         Seeds have parachutes (pappus) attached that allow for wind dispersal, making mature flower clusters looking sort of feathery as fruits open to release seeds

·         Common in disturbed sites, cultivated crops, gardens, open woods; tolerates moderate shade, but needs fairly moist, well-drained soil; can be one of the first plants to colonize a site after burning, giving rise to its common name


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