This particular plant was found in a dry wetland. The hydroperiod is very short so it is currently growing in damp mud bottom. It is in an open spot within the wetland that is starting to become overgrown with pines, sweetgum and tallow so I assume it likes full sun. I’m assuming these are flower buds in the photos. I found it July, 9, 2017 so mid summer in SC. It stands about 3-4 feet tall and there were other smaller specimens within ~3 feet of it.
this is one of the camphorweeds, and very likely the stinking camphorweed, Pluchea foetida. We have several other native species similar to this so there is a chance it is one of the other species, but the flower heads seem to match this best. I suggest you Google other species to compare them. The flowers on this are actually open – individual flowers are tiny and packed together.
Steve Hill, Botanist, SCNPS