Brickellia grandiflora (Hook.) Nutt.

Tassel Flower

Brickellia grandiflora plant

Family - Asteraceae

Habit - Perennial forb.

Stems - To 90 cm, spreading to nearly erect, sometimes branched, moderately to densely pubescent.

Leaves - Roughly triangular, bases cordate to truncate, margins scalloped, surfaces finely short-hairy and usually somewhat glandular.

Brickellia_grandiflora_leavesStem and leaves.

Brickellia_grandiflora_leafLeaf adaxial.

Brickellia grandiflora leaf2Leaf abaxial.

Inflorescence - Small panicles at branch tips, heads usually nodding.


Heads - Heads discoid. Involucres 7-12 mm long, cylindrical or narrowly bell shaped, with numerous bracts in multiple series including a short outer series. Bracts linear, glandular, glabrous or finely hairy.

Brickellia_grandiflora_involucreInvolucres and disk corollas.

Florets - Disk florets 18-45. Corollas 6-8 mm, cream colored to pale yellow. Pappus bristles minutely barbed. Styles well exserted from corollas at anthesis.


Fruits - Achenes 3-5 mm long, 10-ribbed, linear or nearly so, dark brown.

Flowering - July - October.

Habitat - Bluff tops and ledges, glades, on calcareous substrates.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Lookalikes - No info yet.

Other info. - This delicately beautiful plant is fairly uncommon in Missouri. It is widely distributed in the western third of the U.S., where it is much more common. Missouri's population is disjunct, and also represents the plant's easternmost range. Missouri plants are strongly associated with bluff environments. The common name derives from the numerous pendent heads, which are tassel-like in appearance due to their exserted styles.

Photographs taken in Weldon Spring Conservation Area, St. Charles, MO, 10-15-2011 and 10-8-2012 (SRTurner).