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Published In: A Sketch of the Botany of South-Carolina and Georgia 2(4): 400. 1824[1823]. (Sketch Bot. S. Carolina) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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3. Boltonia diffusa Elliott (doll’s daisy)

B. diffusa var. interior Fernald and Griscom

Pl. 231 a, b; Map 965

Plants producing basal offshoots and/or elongate rhizomes. Stems 40–150 cm long. Leaf blades 2–12 cm long, 2–18 mm wide, those of the lower and median leaves linear to narrowly lanceolate, those of the upper leaves mostly linear, the base not decurrent below the attachment point (the stems thus unwinged). Inflorescences usually not appearing leafy, the relatively few bracts 0.2–2.5 cm long, 0.5–5.0 mm wide. Heads relatively small, the receptacle usually 3–6 mm in diameter at flowering. Involucre 2.5–3.5 mm long, the bracts in 3–5(6) more or less unequal series, narrowly oblong to nearly linear, narrowed or tapered to a sharply pointed tip or sometimes rounded to an abrupt, short, sharp point. Ray florets 20–50, the corolla 5–8 mm long. Disc florets 55–150. Pappus of disc florets a short, irregular crown of awns or narrow scales 0.1–0.3 mm long and 2(–4) awns 0.3–0.7 mm long, the longer awns mostly poorly developed in the disc florets, usually absent in the ray florets. Fruits 1.5–2.5 mm long, the wings 0.1–0.4 mm wide. 2n=18. July–October.

Uncommon, mostly in the southeasternmost counties of the Ozark Division and the Mississippi Lowlands (southeastern U.S. west to Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas). Banks of streams and rivers, swamps, sloughs, bottomland prairies, bottomland forests, and margins of sinkhole ponds; also banks of ditches, roadsides, and moist, disturbed areas.

This species is sometimes difficult to distinguish from smaller-headed variants of B. asteroides. In fact, Morgan (1967) hypothesized that some of the Missouri material represents hybrids between the two taxa, although this has not been confirmed by further research. Characters that help to differentiate these species include the apparent leafiness of the inflorescence and the tips of the involucral bracts. The inflorescences of B. diffusa have few typically narrow bracts, whereas those of B. asteroides var. recognita tend to have relatively numerous wider bracts and an overall leafy appearance. The tips of the involucral bracts of B. diffusa narrow or taper to a sharp point, but the bracts of B. asteroides var. latisquama are either rounded or rounded with a short, abrupt point.

Morgan (1967) recognized three varieties of B. diffusa; however, the new combination for her var. caroliniana was never validly published. Most botanists consider this to represent a separate species, B. caroliniana (Walter) Fernald, which is endemic to the Coastal Plain and Piedmont from South Carolina to Georgia and has achenes that are wingless or nearly so. Morgan followed a traditional classification in separating the remaining plants into two varieties that were both attributed to Missouri. The var. diffusa was said to produce slender rhizomes more frequently, to produce involucral bracts that are awl-shaped to nearly linear, and to have the stalks of the heads threadlike, with some of the heads sometimes drooping. In contrast, var. interior (which occupies parts of the western and northern portion of the species range) supposedly has a nonrhizomatous habit, involucral bracts that are linear-oblong, and slender but not threadlike stalks of the heads, with the heads not drooping. Nearly all of the Missouri specimens are more or less attributable to var. interior, but two historical collections from Dunklin and St. Louis Counties appear similar to specimens of var. diffusa from the southeastern states. In practice, however, many specimens of B. diffusa are not clearly determinable at the infraspecific level, and there is more variation in the shapes of involucral bracts than may have been apparent to earlier workers. The present treatment follows that of Cronquist (1980) in not formally recognizing varieties within this species.



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