sneezeweed

sneezeweed, name for any plant of the genus Helenium, American meadow and field herbs of the family Asteraceae (aster family), with daisylike heads of yellow (or occasionally purple) flowers. A few of the more attractive sneezeweeds are cultivated in gardens, such as varieties of H. autumnale, the most common species of E North America. The bitter sap of some sneezeweeds (e.g., H. tenuifolium, a Southern plant also called bitterweed) imparts a disagreeable flavor to the milk of cows that graze on them. Sneezeweeds are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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