Mistflower subspecies?

Discussion in 'Plants: Science and Cultivation' started by proalfst, May 27, 2003.

  1. proalfst

    proalfst Member

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    Hollywood, Florida USA
    Hello, I have question regarding the plant Mistflower( Conoclinium coelestinum). Does it have subspecies? Or is there another Conoclinuim that I cannot find in the net or books? I have noticed two distinct forms growing here in South Florida. One is an upland plant that can flower at 3'' but can also grow up to a yard high. it grows ok in dry soils(stays to the smaller end of the growth spectrum). It seem to spread more by seeds than running. I have also encountered the Conoclinium that I find in the guides and websites. This one grows only in wetlands, has purple stems (as appose to green) and runs by underground rhizomes. I am sure they are both Conoclinisums becuse of their exact same odiforius leaves, opposite leave growth and leaf morphology, but they seem different enough and I do not belive they are the same species.
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Interesting question. Please appreciate that I don't have experience with Floridian plants, so I don't know the "what is similar" possibilities.

    However, I can answer that there are no subspecies or varieties of Conoclinium coelestinum recognized by the USDA (the typical reference we use at UBC for US plants). Conoclinium coelestinum on the USDA site

    There are other species of Conoclinium in the US, but they are found in Texas and nearby states.

    Conoclinium in the United States (scroll down to see the distributions of each of the species).

    I don't want to leave you with a dead end, so here's a suggestion: according to "A Flora of Tropical Florida" by Long and Lakela, they did not recognize Conoclinium as a separate genus, but instead lumped it with Eupatorium. This indicates to me that based on gross morphological characteristics, the plant is sufficiently close in appearance to some species of Eupatorium that they may be easily confused (hence, the upland plant may actually be a Eupatorium).

    Best of luck, the Asteraceae are, as a group, often difficult to identify to species.

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