Etymology: virginica = of Virginia
Plants: erect, annual, 2"-16" tall forb with milky juice
Leaves: linear, mostly basal
Flowers: head 3/8" wide with only yellow ray flowers; inflorescence with the head at the end of a long stalk from the base of the plant; blooms April-June
Fruits: dry seed on fluffy pappus
Habitat: dry; prairies; in sandy soil
Conservation Status: Native
Slender perennials 2-6 dm tall, the stem scaplike; leaves mostly basal, except for 1-2 mostly reduced, sessile-clasping bracts subtending inflorescence branches, spatulate-lanceolate with winged petioles, glabrous (rarely pilose), entire, repand to variously lobed. Heads few, orange-yellow, 2-3 cm in diam. when in flower, on elongate peduncles arising singly or several in the axil of 1-3 short leafy bracts. Pappus double, the outer series of numerous tawny minute scales, the inner of scabrous bristles. 2n=10.
Common in Wisconsin in the southern "forest-prairie province", in open oak-hickory, maple-basswood, and Jack Pine-Jack Oak woods, sandy prairies, roadsides, railroads, and thickets. Flowering from late May to mid-July (-August) ; fruiting from June through July (-October).
Johnson, M.E. and H.H. Iltis. 1963. Preliminary reports on the flora of Wisconsin: No. 48. Compositae Family. Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. 52:255-342.