Cowpen Daisy, Sunflower Family (Asteraceae)
Verbesina enceliodes Gav.) Benth. & Hook.
Region: 2 – 10 (Ellis County is in Region 4)
Size: 1 – 4 feet
Blooms: February – December, Annual
Yellow, daisy-like flower heads with prominent, yellow-orange centers top the slender stems of this bush composite. A covering of hair gives the stems and foliage a blue-green or gray-green appearance. Flowers vary in size to two and one-half inches across, and there are three deeply cut teeth at the tips of each of the twelve to sixteen petals. Thick leaves are shaped like arrowheads, coarsely toothed on the edges and prominently veined on the underside. A Spanish name, anil del muerto, meaning “sunflower of the dead,” was given to this plant because of its strong, unpleasant odor when crushed. A salve made from cowpen daisy has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent; cowpen tea is said to relieve an early peptic ulcer and some believe it may break a fever by inducing sweating relaxation Its seeds have a high oil content.