Grindelia squarrosa (Pursh) Dunal

curly-top gum-weed

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Curly-top gum-weed is probably native to the Great Plains, but has greatly expanded its range across North America and Asia. This plant was used widely by Native Americans as a cough medicine. Other uses include rubbing the gum on the outside of the eyes to treat snow blindness (Cheyenne).

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf type
leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
  • the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower type in flower heads
the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
Ray flower color
  • orange
  • yellow
Tuft or plume on fruit
there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
Spines on plant
there are spines on the plant
Leaf blade length
10–70 mm
Flower head width
9–15 mm
Disk flower number
  • 11-20
  • 21-50
  • more than 50
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bract cycle number
    there are three or more cycles of bracts
    Bract keels
    the bracts do not have keels
    Bract outer side hair type
    the bracts are not hairy on their outer surface
    Bract outer side hairs
    the bracts are not hairy on their outer surfaces
    Bract separation
    • at least some flower heads have bracts connected to one another at or near their bases
    • the bracts appear completely unconnected to one another on all flower heads
    Bract shape
    • the main bracts are lanceolate (widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip)
    • the main bracts are linear (long and very narrow)
    • the main bracts are of a different shape than the given options
    Bract texture
    • the bracts appear thin, flexible and nearly translucent
    • the bracts have a similar texture to a leaf
    Bract tip color
    the tips are a different color from the center of the bract
    Bract tip orientation
    • NA
    • the tips of the bracts curve outwards and downwards from the plant
    Bract tip shape
    NA
    Bracts
    • the bracts in separate cycles are similar or gradually changing from the outer to inner cycles
    • there are at least two distinct forms of bracts in different cycles
    Disk flower color
    yellow
    Disk flower lobe number
    5
    Disk flower number
    • 11-20
    • 21-50
    • more than 50
    Disk flower reproductive parts
    the disk flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    Disk flower shape
    the disk flower is abruptly widened at some point below the lobes
    Disk width
    10–20 mm
    Flower head number
    each flowering stem has four or more flower heads on it
    Flower head outer flowers
    at the outer edge of the flower head, each flower has a single enlarged lobe or strap
    Flower head platform
    the base has no bristles or papery scales
    Flower head platform surface
    NA
    Flower head position
    some or all the flower heads are grouped in clusters of two or more
    Flower head profile
    • the disk is flat or nearly flat across the top
    • the disk is rounded across the top
    Flower head shape
    the flower head is hemispherical (like the bottom half of a sphere)
    Flower head width
    9–15 mm
    Flower type in flower heads
    the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
    Height of flower head base
    6–11 mm
    Inflorescence branching (Solidago)
    NA
    Inflorescence shape
    the inflorescence is flat-topped in profile
    Inflorescence stem
    the stem of the inflorescence is not hairy
    Number of bracts at flower head base
    At least 3
    Ovary beak
    there is no beak on the ovary
    Ovary cross-section
    the ovary is compressed (flattened)
    Ovary hair type
    the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary hairs
    the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary profile
    • in profile, the ovary is roughly egg-shaped, but widest above the middle
    • in profile, the ovary is roughly elliptical (widest in the middle, tapering to both ends)
    Ovary surface
    • the ovary surface has no points, bumps or wrinkles, though it may have lines, ribs or wings
    • the ovary surface is textured with tiny points, bumps or wrinkles
    Peduncle hair type
    NA
    Peduncle hairs
    the peduncles have no hairs
    Ray flower color
    • orange
    • yellow
    Ray flower reproductive parts
    • the ray flowers have carpels or stamens, but not both
    • there are neither carpels nor stamens in the ray flowers
    Ray flowers
    • 16-25
    • 26-50
    Ray length
    8–14 mm
    Reproductive system
    some of the flowers on the plant have only carpels or stamens, while others have both carpels and stamens
    Scale tip
    NA
    Smaller bracts at base of bracts
    there is a cycle of much smaller bracts outside the cycle of larger and longer bracts
    Style branch number
    the style has two branches
    Width of flower head base
    8–20 mm
  • Fruits or seeds
    Number of pappus parts
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    Ovary beak length
    0 mm
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    1.5–4.5 mm
    Seed hair tuft bases
    NA
    Seed hair tuft color
    NA
    Seed hair tuft details
    NA
    Seed hair tuft length
    2.5–5.5 mm
    Seed hair tuft tips
    NA
    Seed hairs uniform
    NA
    Seed tuft scale number
    2–8
    Seed tuft type
    the pappus is made of stiff, tapering bristles
    Top of disk flower ovary
    NA
    Tuft or plume on fruit
    there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
  • Glands or sap
    Bract resin
    the bracts have resin or resin glands
    Leaf blade glands
    the leaf blades have glandular (translucent) dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant has one or more free-standing stems
    Plant lifespan
    • the plant is biennial, it appears as either first year (non-reproductive) plants or second year plants with flowers or fruit
    • the plant is perennial, it shows evidence of previous year's leaves, stems or stem bases
    Spines on plant
    there are spines on the plant
    Underground organs
    there is a thickened taproot on the plant
  • Leaves
    Final leaf segment length (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Final leaf segment width (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    the underside of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    • the leaf has a distinct petiole
    • the leaf has no petiole
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is truncate (ends abruptly in a more or less straight line as though cut off)
    Leaf blade edges
    • the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade hairs
    NA
    Leaf blade length
    10–70 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
    • the leaf blade is oblanceolate (lance-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    • the leaf blade is oblong (rectangular but with rounded ends)
    • the leaf blade is obovate (egg-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is spatulate (spoon-shaped; narrow near the base, then suddenly widening to a rounded tip)
    Leaf blade tip
    • the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    • the tip of the leaf blade is obtuse (bluntly pointed)
    Leaf blade veins
    the leaf blade has one main vein running from the base towards the tip
    Leaf blade width
    5–7 mm
    Leaf disposition
    the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf type
    leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaflet number
    0
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Stem internode hair direction
    NA
    Stem internode hair length
    0 mm
    Stem internode hair type
    the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Stem internode hairs
    the stem has no hairs between the nodes

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

var. squarrosa

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes and no (some introduced)

Sometimes Confused With

Grindelia hirsutula:
leaf blades toothed with obtuse to rounded teeth, the apex of each tooth with a prominent resin gland, and middle involucral bracts terminated by green appendages mostly 1–1.7 mm long (vs. G. squarrosa, with leaf blades toothed with mostly acute teeth, the apex of each tooth usually apiculate to setose, and middle involcural bracts terminated by green appendages mostly 2.5–5.4 mm long).

Synonyms

  • Donia squarrosa Pursh
  • Grindelia serrulata Rydb.
  • Grindelia squarrosa (Pursh) Dunal var. serrulata (Rydb.) Steyermark

Family

Asteraceae

Genus

Grindelia

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

2.  Grindelia squarrosa (Pursh) Dunal E

curly-top gum-weed. Donia squarrosa Pursh; Grindelia squarrosa (Pursh) Dunal var. 
serrulata (Rydb.) Steyermark; G. serrulata Rydb. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Fields, roadsides, railroads, waste areas.