Plants (50-)100-250+ cm (perennating bases ± erect, internodes winged, at least proximal). Leaves all or mostly alternate (proximal sometimes opposite); blades lance-ovate or lance-elliptic to lance-linear, 5-12(-22+) × 1-6(-12+) cm, sometimes pinnately lobed, bases ± cuneate, ultimate margins usually coarsely toothed to subentire, sometimes sinuate, apices acute, faces ± scabrellous to strigillose. Heads (20-)60-100+ in corymbiform to paniculiform arrays. Involucres ± obconic to turbinate, 3-5 mm diam. Phyllaries 8-12+ in 1-2 series, ± erect, spatulate to oblanceolate, 2.5-5(-7) mm. Ray florets (1-)2-3(-7); laminae 3-4(-7+) mm. Disc florets 8-12(-15); corollas ochroleucous or white. Cypselae dark brown to blackish, oblanceolate, 3.5-5+ mm, faces ± scabrellous; pappi 1.5-3+ mm. 2n = 32, 34. Flowering (Jul-)Sep-Oct(-Dec). Bottomlands, flood plains, thickets, borders of woodlands, disturbed sites; 10-300 m; Ala., Ark., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Kans., Ky., La., Md., Miss., Mo., N.C., Ohio, Okla., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va. Plants of Verbesina virginica from near the Atlantic Coast with margins of some or most leaf blades sinuate to pinnately 3-5(-7+)-lobed have been called V. laciniata or V. virginica var. laciniata.
Coarse perennial to 2 m, the stem leafy, puberulent; lvs alternate, ovate to lance-elliptic, serrate to subentire, 9-20 נ3-10 cm, scabrous to subglabrous above, velutinous or sometimes appressed-puberulent beneath, the petioles ±winged, often decurrent on the stem; heads small, numerous, crowded, 20-100+ in a dense, generally ±flat-topped infl, the disk 3-7 mm wide in fl; invol bracts appressed, evidently imbricate, puberulent; rays 1-5, pistillate and fertile, white, under 1 cm; achenes erect, flattened, winged or wingless; 2n=32, 34. Bottomlands, thickets, woods and waste places; Va. to e. Kans., s. to Fla. and Tex. Aug.-Oct. (Phaethusa v.) Ours is the widespread var. virginica.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.