Tracing the origin of the common name for Melampodium leucanthum (blackfoots) stems from the origin of the botanical genus name. Take a look at the Wikipedia website under the genus, Melampodium and you will find the following information... “The name is derived from the Greek words μέλας (melas), meaning "black", and πόδιον (podion), meaning "foot." This refers to the color of the base of the stem and roots. Referenced from Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. III: M-Q. CRC Press. p. 1647. ISBN 978-0-8493-2677-6. Members of the genus are commonly known as blackfoots.” Referenced from "Melampodium" in the Integrated Taxonomic Information System.