Krigia caespitosa (Raf.) Chambers

Krigia caespitosa plant

Family - Asteraceae

Stems - Multiple from the base, from slightly thickened roots, branching, herbaceous, erect to ascending, mostly glabrous or with a few glandular hairs near the base of the stem leaves and in the internodes, glaucous, terete or slightly ridged from decurrent leaf midrib tissue, to +15cm tall, with white milky sap.

Krigia caespitosa stem

Leaves - Cauline leaves mainly opposite to sub-opposite, sessile, linear-spatulate, entire or with a few coarse-shallow teeth, light bluish-green, acute, glabrous, to +5cm long, +1cm broad. Upper leaves shorter and more broad than the lower.

Krigia caespitosa leaves

Inflorescence - Single flower heads terminating long peduncles in an umbel-like arrangement from the upper leaf axils. Peduncles to -5cm long, glabrous below, with glandular hairs at the apex below the involucre.

Involucre - Involucre to 5mm long, 6mm broad (in fruit), smaller in flower, cupulate. Phyllaries +/-8, uniseriate, ovate-lanceolate, glabrous, 5mm long, to +2mm broad, acute, the tips slightly spreading (in fruit).

Krigia caespitosa involucre

Ray flowers - Flowers +/-25 per head, yellow to yellow-orange, fertile. Achenes brown in fruit, 1.5mm long, .5-.8mm broad, ribbed and rugose (under magnification), glabrous. Receptacle naked, dome-shaped.

Krigia caespitosa flowers

Krigia caespitosa flowers

Disk flowers - Absent.

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Low moist fallow fields, sandy open alluvial ground, glades, meadows, lawns, prairies, upland sterile slopes and ridges, pastures, ditches, sloughs, ponds, railroads.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This little species can be found mainly in the southern half of the state. The plant can be easily identified by its sub-opposite leaves, milky sap, yellow-orange ray flowers, and glaucous stems.
Synonyms for this species are Krigia oppositifolia Raf. and Serenia oppositifolia (Raf.) Ktze.

Photographs taken in Van Buren, MO., 5-28-04, and in Hunter, AL., 4-3-05.