Krigia biflora (Two-flowered Cynthia)

Plant Info
Also known as: Two-flowered False Dandelion, Orange Dwarf Dandelion
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; prairies, meadows, open woods
Bloom season:May - August
Plant height:8 to 30 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FAC MW: FACU NCNE: FACU
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 7+petals

[photo of flowers] 1 to 6 orange to yellow-orange dandelion type flower heads emerge from the upper leaf axil, each flower on a long stalk, though rarely are more than 2 blooming at the same time. The stalk may be smooth or covered in glanduar hairs, especially near the base of the flower. Flowers have 25 to 60 rays (petals), orange stamens, and long narrow bracts.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: lobed Leaf type: simple

[photo of basal leaves] Leaves are mostly basal, to 10 inches long and 2 inches wide, hairless, narrower at the base and wider towards the tip (obovate) with pointed or rounded tips and “winged” leaf stalks. Leaf edges may be toothless, sparsely gentle toothed or somewhat lobed.

[photo of stem leaf] 1 or 2 smaller, toothless, more lance shaped leaves clasp the stem about midway up the plant. Where the flower stalks emerge from the stem are 1 or 2 small clasping leaves. The stems exude a milky latex when wounded.


Two-flowered Cynthia is one of my favorite composites (another name for the aster family) of what I call “the dandelion class”. Its clear mellow orange tinge instantly separates it visually from the rest of the crowd, and the 1 or 2 clasping leaves where the flower stalks emerge at the top of the plant further distinguish it. More than many other species this one clearly seems to track closely within specific biomes—deciduous forest and aspen parkland.

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More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Sherburne and Anoka counties.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Maia - Loring Park Pond
on: 2015-08-31 23:24:05

I believe I saw a bunch of these along the edge of Loring Pond in Loring Park. Does it make sense that they would be there? I think I've identified them correctly, but I'm not 100% sure.

Posted by: carole - waverly
on: 2016-06-29 21:07:59

I've seen clumps of bright orange flowers along the road between Orrock and Zimmerman MN and in a few places along north 169 They're about ten inches tall with a number of blooms. Anyone know what they are??

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2016-06-30 21:15:55

Carole, likely orange hawkweed. A very invasive pest plant. :-(

Posted by: Marc - Babbitt
on: 2020-06-23 13:18:16

Is there a way to control these plants? They are taking over our yard. Thank you.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2020-06-23 13:38:19

Marc, if you look at the distribution map you'll notice Krigia isn't known to be in the northeastern part of Minnesota. I suspect what you have taking over your yard is one of the invasive hawkweeds that are widespread in your area. Try some dandelion spray.

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