Cacalia suaveolens
(Sweet Indian Plantain)

Other pictures of this plant:

               Seedpod                                           Leaf                                            Stem                                        Seed                                          Habit

Facts About this Plant:

    Common Names: Sweet Indian Plantain, False Indian Plantain, Sweet-smelling Indian Plantain
    Synonyms: Hasteola suaveolens, Senecio suaveolens, Synosma suaveolens
    Lifespan: Perennial
    Zones: 5 - 8
    Type: Forb
    Bloom Time: July - September
    Status: Native

Cacalia suaveolens, or Sweet Indian Plantain, is native to only the northeastern quarter of the United States. It grows in moist open meadows and prairies, along moist woodland edges, streambanks and riverbanks and on the edges of marshes. It blooms in mid summer, with white flowers mixed with yellow stamens.

There are several species that are considered "Indian Plantains" and they all look similar, but their taxonomy is confusing and in a state of flux, as they are grouped in different genuses - Cacalia, Hasteola, Arnoglossum, and this species is considered a Senecio by some, although it seems to share few traits with the typical Senecio species. In any event, whatever they are called, this species can be easily identified from others that look like it buy its fuller flowers, and by its leaves that are called "hastate" in shape, which means they are triangular shaped, with lobes at the bottom bases.

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