||Very tall herb, 3-10 feet tall. Stem
winged, that is, it has thin ridges running down the stem as in
the picture below center. Leaves wide lance-shaped or
oblong. Leafstalks also winged. Most leaves
alternate, but lowest ones may be opposite each other.
Flower heads in a large branching cluster. Each flower
head with about 10 or fewer yellow, drooping ray flowers around
a nearly spherical, untidy button of greenish yellow disc
in late summer. Fruits are flattened black seeds with protruding horns in a fuzzy white pincushion. Seeds and cushion turn brown and persist into the winter..
Native plant of open areas, especially favoring
floodplains. Very common in Wildwood, especially in the
floodplain of Connelly's Run, but also along Wildwood Drive.
No other member of this family in Wildwood has the untidy
looking flowers and winged stems of wingstem, except its sister species yellow crownbeard (V. occidentalis). Crownbeard,, however, has leaves that are all opposite each other, and the ray flowers tend to spread rather than droop.