Prenanthes/Nabalus serpentaria from Diane P., SC

Posted on |

Hi, Dr. Hill,
I have found this plant growing here and there along the wood line in mostly sunny conditions in the Fall Line in mostly clay areas of the land. One has made its home near our lawn in full sun where I photographed it on Oct. 15. The bees love it, but I’m not sure I do.

Hi Diane,

this is a nice native species in the Asteraceae / Compositae family, and most likely Prenanthes serpentaria, also called Nabalus serpentaria. It has several common names, among therm Lion’s-foot, cankerweed, and rattlesnake-root. We have several species of this genus in South Carolina, but yours is a good match for this one. The great closeup pictures you sent of the setose phyllaries sort of clinches it. It is actually rather closely related to lettuce!


Steven Hill, Ph.D., Botanist, SCNPS


Comments are closed.