Leaves: Green, grayish-green; blades are generally triangular in shape; note that the leaf edges or margins are coarsely toothed; the upper side of the leaf surface has stiff, straight, closely appressed hairs or bristles (strigose); upper leaves arranged alternately.
Flowering Season: April or May to September, October, and November, as late as December in California.
Elevation: Up to 8,000 feet (2,438 m)
Habitat Preferences: Lower and upper desert areas, disturbed areas, roadsides, fields, sandy, gravelly, silty or rocky soils, lower drainage and other wetland areas, disturbed areas, cattle lots and sandy and gravelly areas.
Recorded Range:Native to most states in the United States, Baja California and Mexico and south through South America; naturalized is the other states. Large populations in the southwest United States in AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV and TX.
International Invasive/Noxious Weed Information:1The Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International, (CABI), and 2The Invasive Species Compendium (ISC) has identified Verbesina encelioides is listed as an “Invasive Species, Pest and Host Plant”.
1The Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England; The US Department of Agriculture is a lead partner with CABI.
2The Invasive Species Compendium (ISC) is an encyclopedic resource that brings together a wide range of different types of science-based information to support decision-making in invasive species management worldwide.
Genus Information: In North America there are 18 species and 18 accepted taxa overall for Verbesina. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 303 accepted species names and a further 62 scientific names of infraspecific rank for Verbesina.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 3 species of Verbesina, California has 2 species, Nevada has 1 species, New Mexico has 5 species, Texas has 10 species, Utah has 1 species. Data approximate, subject to revision.
There are 2 sub-species in Verbesina encelioides Verbesina encelioides ssp. encelioides, Golden Crownbeard, (much ssp. overlapping in geographic ranges);
Verbesina encelioides ssp. exauriculata, Golden Crownbeard, (much ssp. overlapping in geographic ranges).
Comments: With good conditions in wet years, Golden Crownbeard may cover large areas with bright yellow flowers and found in smaller numbers during drier years. The photos above were taken during a moderate drought period in Arizona with little else in bloom at the time. Often seen along roadsides or disturbed grounds and over-grazed range lands.
Several herbal medicinal uses have been identified, species account from Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.
Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Verbesina encelioides, Golden Crownbeard has large showy daisy-like flowers, the flowers, their seeds and plants may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals including rodents and granivorous birds in search of food, nectar and protection through cover.
Beneficial Value to Butterflies, Honey Bees and Insects
Verbesina encelioides, Golden Crownbeard has large showy daisy-like flowers, the flowers and their plants may be visited or used by butterflies, moths, flies, honeybees, native bees and other insects in search of nectar, food or shelter and protection.
****Special Value to Honey Bees****
According to The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Golden Crownbeard, Verbesina encelioides, is recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting large numbers of honeybees. Click here for more information on their Pollinator Conservation Program.
****Special Value to Native Bees****
According to The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Golden Crownbeard, Verbesina encelioides, is recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting large numbers of Native bees. Click here for more information on their Pollinator Conservation Program.
The genus “Verbesina” (Verbesi'na:) from the resemblance of the leaves to those of the the genus Verbena.
The species epithet “encelioides” (encelio'ides:) looking like Encelia which this species is easily mistaken for Brittlebush, Encelia farinosa.
Verbesina encelioides is used for a multitude of purposes by southwestern United States indigenous peoples.
Hopi Drug, Dermatological Aid, Febriguge, Other, Soap; Infusion of plant said to remove fever and itch from a spider bite and Infusion of plant said to remove fever and itch from a spider bite and Plant soaked in bath water.
Navajo, Kayenta Drug, Dermatological Aid; Infusion of plant taken and plant used as a lotion for spider bites.
Navajo Drug, Gastrointestinal Aid, Food; Infusion of dried, crushed leaves taken for stomach troubles and Seeds used for food.
Navajo, Ramah Drug, Hunting Medicine, Ceremonial Items, Insecticide; Petals chewed for good luck in hunting and Used to make antelope prayer stick in Plumeway and Hollow piece of dried stem used in procedure to rid corn of cutworms.
Navajo, Ramah Other, Insecticide; Stem used to rid corn of cutworms. Put four worms into a hollow piece of dried stem about five inches long, take it to an ancient Pueblo ruin and stick it in the ground at the edge of the ruin. When the worms have disappeared bury the stem, cover it with a piece of old pottery and draw a line around it with an arrowhead.
Navajo, Ramah Other, Protection; Flowers hung in the hogan or worn in a hat band as protection from lightning.
Zuni Drug, Emetic, Gastrointestinal, Snake Bite Remedy; Blossoms chewed and swallowed with water as an emetic for stomach cramps and Blossoms chewed and swallowed with water as an emetic for stomach cramps and Compound poultice of root applied with much ceremony to rattlesnake bite.
See complete listing of ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.