Coefficient of Conservatism:
Coefficient of Wetness:
A. A. Reznicek
Now considered a nearly cosmopolitan weed, but apparently native to North America, widely naturalized in Europe and elsewhere. Especially characteristic of recently cleared, burned, abandoned, or otherwise disturbed sites, including rebuilt roadsides, railroads, fields, gravel pits, dumps, parking areas, shores, gardens; also in prairie-like areas.
The rudimentary rays are white to pink. Stature of plants varies from a few centimeters (flowering as short as 3 cm, with heads solitary or few) to well over a meter tall (with hundreds of heads). The stem is usually erect and unbranched till near its summit. The prominent stiff hairs nearly or quite at right angles to the stem and leaf margins (which appear boldly ciliate) usually make it an easy species to recognize, even vegetatively. Though typically considered an annual, it can also be a biennial under some circumstances.
Some plants (particularly from the Upper Peninsula) are small, with ascending branches from near or below the middle overtopping the stem apex. These and some others may have very sparse or more appressed pubescence, but most have the widely spreading bristly hairs of C. canadensis. None, however, have the diffuse, decumbent branches at the base that characterize the more delicate and narrower-leaved C. ramosissima Cronquist, which also has only antrorse or appressed hairs. That species has been collected in Ohio not too far from the Michigan border and should be sought here. Whether the Michigan plants result from seasonal or genetic variation, or other factors deserves investigation.