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Bitterweed Helenium amarum

The range distribution maps for Bitterweed are from the Plants Database of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The Bitterweed plant, also known as Spanish Daisy, is an annual native plant found throughout south-central United States.  It is found throughout most of Florida.  This plant likes sandy pinelands, pastures, open fields, and roadsides.

Bitterweed is a multi-branched bushy erect plant that grows to a height of about 2 feet.  It looks like a bouquet of flowers, being narrow on the bottom, then gradually spreading out towards the top.  The daisy-like flower heads have a rounded center with many golden yellow disc florets surrounded by 8-10 lighter yellow ray florets.  Its width varies from 0.75-1.25 inches.  They bloom from spring to fall.  The leaves are very narrow and threadlike. The fruit is a tiny achene about 0.1 inch long.

The name amarum refers to the bitter leaves.  In fact, the leaves are toxic to some animals.

All of the photos on this page were taken in the Babcock-Webb WMA in Charlotte County.