Scientific Name: Emilia fosbergii
Common Names: Florida Tasselflower, Flora's Paintbrush
Growth Habit: Herb/Forb
Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. The native range of this naturalized tropical weed is not known. It may be a hybrid between Emilia sonchifolia and Emilia coccinea.
Flower Color: Red, Medium to dark pink
Height: Up to 40 inches (1 m) tall
Description: The flower heads are small, cylindrical to bell-shaped, and have red to pink disks and no rays. The flowers are followed by rounded seed heads with white, silky-haired, wind-borne seeds. The leaves clasp the stems or have ear-like basal lobes and are green, alternate, sessile, oblanceolate to violin-shaped, and usually coarsely toothed or weakly lobed. The stems are erect, branched or unbranched, mostly hairless on the upper parts of the plant, and lightly covered with long, grayish white hairs near the base of the plant.
Here in Hawaii, Florida Tasselflower grows in sunny, open, disturbed areas and along roadsides at lower elevations.
The similar Scarlet Tasselflower (Emilia coccinea) has larger, showier, orange-red flowers, while Lilac Tasselflower (Emilia sonchifolia) has paler lavender pink to lilac flowers and mostly hairless lower stems. The somewhat similar Redflower Ragleaf (Crassocephalum crepidioides) has drooping flower heads.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus: Emilia Cass. – tasselflower
Species: Emilia fosbergii Nicolson – Florida tasselflower
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