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Plant Details

Elephantopus tomentosus

Common Elephant's-foot, Elephant's Foot, Devil's Grandmother

Scientific Name:

Elephantopus tomentosus

Genus:

Elephantopus

Species Epithet:

tomentosus

Common Name:

Common Elephant's-foot, Elephant's Foot, Devil's Grandmother

Plant Type

Herb/Wildflower

Life Cycle

Perennial

Plant Family

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Size:

1-3 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

Pink, Purple

Light:

Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day, Less than 2 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Dry

Bloom Time:

August, September, October, November

Growing Area:

Mountains, Piedmont, Sandhills, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

Woodlands and woodland borders, usually fairly dry. Common in NC Coastal Plain and Piedmont, rare in the Mountains.

Leaf Arrangement:

Basal

Leaf Retention:

Deciduous

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Simple

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Wildlife Value:

Has some wildlife value

Landscape Value:

Not Recommended for home landscapes

Notes:

Leaves are mostly basal, although there may be a few small alternate leaves along the stems. Elephantopus carolinianus, Carolina Elephant's-foot, is also found throughout North Carolina, and has similar flowers but instead of basal leaves it has well-developed, alternate leaves along the stem.

In bloom

Small though the flowers are, Elephant's Foot attracts butterflies and other pollinators.

image

Paynter, Wilmington, 9.1.2013

Closeup of flowers

image

Paynter, Wilmington, 9.1.2013

Plant structure

The large hairy leaves flat to the ground give the plant one of its common names. The stem has few or no small leaves and divides into the flowering stalks.

image

Paynter, Wilmington, September

Basal leaves

Common Elephant's Foot (E. tomentosus) is very like its close relative, Smooth Elephant's Foot (E. nudatus). The leaves are wider and the dense hairs, especially on the underside, are spreading or reflexed, not appressed

image

Paynter, Wilmington

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record


Bird-Friendly Native Plants



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