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Pluchea odorata — Sweetscent, Marsh Fleabane
(most images can be enlarged by clicking)

by Bob Harms ()
In N. Hays County, Texas, P. odorata is common in moist soil, often newly appearing as though from a seed bank in areas that were not previously moist. It is generally shorter than associated composites, 2.5 to 3.5 feet tall. The entire plant is dotted with glands that emit a camphor scent when touched, even dry winter leaves that persist until spring — hence its common name. Although not generally recognized for its late fall and winter show of frost crystals, crystallofolia, closely related species were known for this as early as 1824. The inflorescence is a corymbform cluster of flower heads consisting solely of pale purple disk flowers.

P. odorata in moist areas. Late fall achene 'fluff'

Flower heads showing minute glands (perhaps more clearly visible when enlarged), flowers densely packed with exerted pappus.

Disk flowers