Plants 14-65 cm. Stems erect, puberulent. Leaves: basal persistent at flowering, winged-petiolate, blades oblanceolate to obovate or spatulate, 20-150 mm, serrate near apices, puberulent; cauline sessile, blades narrowly to broadly ovate, 10-110 × 4-30 mm, bases cuneate, margins serrate, distal becoming entire, apices acuminate to acute, faces puberulent. Heads 2-5 per branch, in corymbiform arrays. Involucres 4-7 mm at flowering. Peduncle bracts absent. Phyllaries in 3-4 series, outer 2-4 mm, mid 3-5 mm, glabrate. Ray florets 3-7; corolla tubes 2-4 mm, laminae 2-6 mm. Disc florets 9-20; corolla tubes 3-4 mm, lobes 0.6-2 mm. Ovaries fusiform-obconic, 0.8-2 mm, densely strigose; pappi: inner series 4-5 mm. 2n = 18. Flowering mid summer-early fall. Dry sandy, clay, and shaley open soils in fields and open mixed and pine woods, road margins, eastern deciduous forest; 0-1600 m; Ala., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Miss., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va. Collections of Sericocarpus asteroides purportedly from Indiana and Wisconsin are of questionable provenance or chance introductions.
Stems 1.5-6 dm from a branched caudex, generally scabrous-puberulent in the infl; lvs ciliate-margined and sometimes hairy over the surface as well, at least some of them evidently toothed, the basal and lower cauline ones generally enlarged and persistent, broadly oblanceolate to obovate, elliptic, or even subrotund, petiolate, the blade 1.5-10 נ1-4.5 cm; cauline lvs becoming sessile upward, otherwise scarcely to strongly reduced; infl corymbiform, flat- topped, the heads commonly in small glomerules; invol glabrous, narrow, 5-9 mm, its bracts well imbricate, broad, with short spreading green tip, or the inner wholly chartaceous; rays 4-8, white (pink), 4-8 mm; disk-fls 9-20, 4-5.5 mm (dry), white or ochroleucous, or seldom lavender; achenes densely sericeous, the upper hairs simulating an outer pappus; pappus-bristles usually reddish, obscurely clavellate above; 2n=18. Dry woods; Me. and Vt. to Ga., w. to s. O., W.Va., e. Ky., e. Tenn., and e. Ala. (Sericocarpus asteroides)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.