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Verbesina encelioides (Cowpen daisy)
Pyle, Lynn

Verbesina encelioides

Verbesina encelioides (Cav.) Benth. & Hook. f. ex A. Gray

Cowpen Daisy, Golden Crownbeard, Butter Daisy

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: veen

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), HI (I), PR (N)

A well-branched grayish-green plant, leaves alternate or opposite, toothed, nearly triangular. Yellow flower heads are up to 2 inches (5 cm) across and have 3-toothed rays. The silvery green leaves are triangular with toothed margins.

This plant is common on disturbed ground and sometimes colors acres or miles of roadside solid yellow.


From the Image Gallery

50 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , FL , GA , HI , IA , IL , KS , LA , MA , MD , MI , MO , MT , NC , ND , NE , NM , NV , NY , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , WY
Native Distribution: C. California to Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas; north through e. Utah and Colorado to Montana; east to Kansas and se. United States; south into tropical America.
Native Habitat: Found in disturbed areas throughout Texas, especially the drier parts. Sand, loam, clay, limestone.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Conditions Comments: Cowpen daisy earned its name from a descriptive example of the type of disturbed soil on which it thrives. The yellow flower is a good nectar source especially for late season butterflies.


Use Medicinal: This plant was used by Indians and early settlers to treat skin ailments.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Honey Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Propagation Material: Seeds
Seed Collection: Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Medicinal plants at the Wildflower Center
April 19, 2006
What kinds of medicinal plants do you have at the Wildflower Center?
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Naval Air Station Kingsville - Kingsville, TX
Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
National Butterfly Center - Mission, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0642 Collected May 30, 1992 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
NPSOT 1057 Collected Aug 10, 1995 in Comal County by Mary Beth White
NPSOT 0075 Collected Oct. 19, 1990 in Bexar County by Mollie Walton

3 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium


Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Verbesina encelioides in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Verbesina encelioides in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Verbesina encelioides


Record Modified: 2023-01-30
Research By: TWC Staff

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