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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 19, 20 and 21 | Asteraceae | Pluchea

5b. Pluchea odorata (Linnaeus) Cassini var. succulenta (Fernald) Cronquist in A. E. Radford et al., Vasc. Fl. S.E. U.S. 1: 175. 1980.

Saltmarsh fleabane

Pluchea purpurascens (Swartz) de Candolle var. succulenta Fernald, Rhodora 44: 227. 1942

Plants 20–60 cm. Involucres 5–6 × 7–8(–10) mm. Functionally staminate florets (14–)21–34.

Flowering Aug–Oct. Salt or brackish marshes, rarely inland; 0–10 m; Ont.; Conn., Del., Ill., Ind., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Pa., R.I., Va.

The larger size of the heads of Pluchea odorata var. succulenta (versus var. odorata) is correlated with the greater number of functionally staminate florets. The two taxa apparently intergrade across a wide area, from southeastern Virginia through South Carolina, and identifications are arbitrary in that region. In the Carolinas, heads appear to be smaller (even heads with relatively numerous florets), and in northern localities (Virginia northward) the smaller size of plants may simply reflect a shorter growing season. It may be more realistic to identify plants of all localities simply as P. odorata, noting that a trend toward increasing head size occurs northward along the Atlantic Coast.


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