Habitat Information: Drought tolerant, the yellow orange flowers appear from June until frost, and the dark brown seedheads provide bird food throughout the winter. It is unclear whether this plant has just naturalized in Ontario, and is not a provincially native species by some accounts. (Evergreen)
Seeds are eaten by goldfinches, but are not an important source of food. (Illinois Wildflowers)
Garden Information: Probably the most familiar wildflower, this biennial self sows readily, so you have blooms year after year, although it does wander throughout the garden. If you have lots of room, plant in huge drifts for a stunning display especially when mixed with purple coneflower and bergamot."" (Johnson, L., The new Ontario Naturalized Garden, 1999) This plant is unlike its horticultural counterpart in ornamental nurseries, as it is partially annual. If it likes where it is, it stays, otherwise, it will self seed in new areas each year.
Unlike the cultivated version it has very hairy leaves which are almost grey in colour. This is an adaptation to retain water, preventing leaf desiccation in drought. Because it is an annual, it grows a lot in one season, requiring to be repotted early when it gets established in a greenhouse setting. (Evergreen)
Insect Relationships: Insects generally love this plant, particularly bees and flies, and a variety of wasps, butterflies, and beetles. Little Carpenter bees, Leaf-Cutting bees, Green Metallic and other Halictine bees, Andrenid bees such as Andrena rudbeckiae and Heterosarus rudbeckiae, prefer this and other related spp. Syrphid flies, Bee flies, and Tachinid flies are common. Butterfly caterpillars of Chlosyne nycteis (Silvery Checkerspot). (Illinois Wildflowers)
Although spreading throughout southern Canada, NatureServe states that this plant originated only in BC, SK, MB, ON and QC.
Provides nectar for butterflies such as: dorcas copper, coral hairstreak, swamp metalmark, great spangled fritillary, meadow fritillary, Milbert's tortoise shell. (Wildtype)
It thrives when well mixed with conservation grasses, other forbs and legumes in reclaiming fields and roadsides, while fixing the soil. (USDA PLANTS)
Traditional Edible and Medicinal Uses: This plant is said to be poisonous to sheep, pigs and cattle. (Plants for a Future) This plant has minimal edible and medicinal uses. (Evergreen)
Other Uses: A yellow dye can be made from the flowers. (Plants for a Future)
Green Roof: This drought hardy plant has been grown in soil levels 5 inches and up with good results. (Evergreen)
The plants are easy to start from seeds that mature in the fall, or plants can be divided in early spring or in the fall.
Known to cause contact sensitivity and has been reported to trigger asthma. Toxicity by ingestion is not reported (Ferris, H.)
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