Hi, Dr. Hill,
This plant was first photographed in late August of a previous year. I found it in the Fall Line region along a country road in sandy-ish soil, in full sun. The plant appeared almost shrub-like, branching from a single main stem that was about 3/4″ diameter. It looks like one of the pussytoes, but all the photos were single-stemmed plants with one or few flower heads. If you can also tell me what the yellow flowers growing with it are (in photo #2), I’d love that, too. :-)
your main plant is Croton capitatus, usually called hogwort, but I think I heard it called doveweed in Texas. It is in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. I think the yellow flowered associate is Heterotheca subaxillaris, camphorweed. The leaves on this should smell like camphor.
Steven Hill, Ph.D., Botanist, SCNPS