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Carphephorus facts for kids

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Florida paintbrush (Carphephorus corymbosus) (6256923212).jpg
Carphephorus corymbosus
Scientific classification

Type species
Carphephorus pseudoliatris

Carphephorus is a genus of North American plants in the sunflower family. They are native to the southeastern United States from Louisiana to Virginia. Plants of this genus are known commonly as chaffheads.


These are perennial plants that grow from a caudex and fibrous root system. The stems are erect and unbranched, usually reaching 20 to 60 centimeters (8-24 inches) in height, and taller at times. The leaves are alternately arranged and point upward, sometimes pressed against the stem. The blades vary in shape and are hairy to hairless and generally glandular. The flower heads are borne in open inflorescences. Each head contains up to about 35 disc florets, usually lavender to dark magenta or pinkish purple, sometimes blue. The fruit is a ribbed, rough-textured cypsela with a pappus of bristles.


Some authors separate certain species into separate genera, Trilisa and Litrisa, on the basis of certain floral characters. The species are similar enough in other aspects that other authors maintain them in Carphephorus. Molecular data may support the separation of at least some of the taxa.

Carphephorus is in the tribe Eupatorieae of the aster family. Like other members of this tribe, the flower heads have disc florets and no ray florets. It is also in the subtribe Liatrinae along with, for example, Liatris and Garberia.

Species and varieties
formerly included


A number of species contain volatile oils, giving characteristic odors.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Carphephorus para niños

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