Plants (30-)100-200+ cm (perennating bases ± erect or horizontal rhizomes, internodes winged, at least proximal). Leaves all or mostly alternate (proximal sometimes opposite); blades lance-elliptic or lanceolate to lance-linear, 10-25+ × 2-8+ cm, bases narrowly cuneate, margins coarsely toothed to subentire, apices attenuate, faces scabrellous. Heads (3-)8-25(-50+) in corymbiform to paniculiform arrays. Involucres ± saucerlike, 10-12+ mm diam. Phyllaries 8-12+ in 1(-2) series, ± spreading to reflexed, spatulate or lance-linear to linear, 3-8+ mm. Ray florets (2-)6-8+; laminae 15-25+ mm. Disc florets 40-60+; corollas yellow. Cypselae dark brown to black, oblanceolate to ± orbiculate, 4.5-5 mm, faces sparsely hirtellous to glabrate; pappi 1.5-2 mm. 2n = 68. Flowering Aug-Oct. Alluvial flats, along streams, woodlands; 10-600 m; Ont.; Ala., Ark., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Md., Mich., Miss., Mo., Nebr., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va., Wis. Verbesina alternifolia may be no longer present in Delaware.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Infrequent to frequent or locally common throughout the state, although there are no reports from the northwestern counties. It is a coarse weed preferring moist situations, and found usually in alluvial soil along streams in open woodland and pastures.
Perennial 1-3 m, the stem leafy, spreading-hirsute to subglabrous, usually ±winged; lvs alternate, lanceolate or lance-elliptic to occasionally ovate, usually gradually narrowed to a petiolar base, sharply serrate or subentire, 10-25 נ2-8 cm, scabrous-hirsute, especially above; heads 10-100+ in an open infl; disk 1-1.5 cm wide in fl; invol bracts few, glabrous or subglabrous, rather small, narrow, soon deflexed, the disk-fls loosely spreading even before anthesis; rays 2-10, neutral, yellow, 1-3 cm; achenes broadly winged or sometimes wingless, spreading in all directions, forming a globose head 8-15 mm thick; 2n=68. Thickets, woods, and bottomlands; N.Y. and s. Ont. to e. Neb., s. to Fla., La., and Okla., rarely adventive elsewhere. Aug.-Oct. (Actinomeris a.; Ridan a.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.