Krigia biflora (Two-flowered Cynthia)
|Also known as:||Two-flowered False Dandelion, Orange Dwarf Dandelion|
|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):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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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:
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.
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.
Notes: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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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?