Friday, September 16, 2011

Chrysopsis Study, September 14, 2011

A type of goldenaster recently appeared near the pool deck in our backyard (Satellite Beach). I let it grow until it flowered so I could determine which species of Chryopsis it was. The answer is Coastalplain goldenaster (C. scabrella). That is the closest fit to any of the five species of goldenaster that the online Florida plant atlas shows as being found in Brevard County. One species, C. delaneyi, is rare;  C. linearfolia subsp. dressii is occasional; and the other three--C. scabrella, C. mariana, and C. subulata--are frequent.) C. subulata is ruled out because it has reflexed bracts and my plant does not. C. mariana is ruled out because it has cobwebby leaves and stems and my plant does not. Which leaves C. scabrella as the most likely species.

The particular plant in our backyard has multiple branches near the base and has put up long branches that are unbranched until the inflorescence. Its leaves, bracts, and stems are all covered in short hairs (mostly under 0.4 mm, but some 1 mm long), which gives the plant a rough feel. One authority says that C. scabrella is odoriferous and sticky. Crushed leaves of this plant give off a piney odor, and the plant is sticky. Lower leaves are stemmed; upper leaves are stemless.

Coastalplain goldenaster is currently blooming alongside bike paths and medians in Satellite Beach area. Some have been forced to grow low due to constant mowing.

Following are photos of various parts of the plant.

Coastalplain goldenaster (Chrysopsis scabrella, Asteraceae)


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