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Wingstem Ltd is the leading company in the wearables market with innovative devices that help users of all ages improve the health and fitness of their dogs.Sometimes this plant is called 'Yellow Ironweed' because of its fancied resemblance to Ironweed (Vernonia spp.). Both kinds of plants bloom at about the same time of year, share a similar height, have similar leaves, and like moist conditions. Their composite flowers, however, are dramatically different from each other in appearance. Also, Wingstem usually has a winged central stem, while Ironweed doesn't. The other species in this genus that can be found in Illinois, Verbesina helianthoides (Yellow Crownbeard), is usually found in moist to mesic prairies. This latter species is a shorter, hairier plant that blooms earlier in the summer; the ray florets of its compound flowers droop less, or they are held horizontally. In the past, Wingstem was assigned to the Actinomeris genus.
Wingstem is named for the leaf tissue fanning out from the length of the stem. Blooming in the heat of summer and throughout the fall season, this tall prairie plant features domed clusters of perky yellow flowerheads whose spiny florets are often compared to pin cushions. The petals are also a bright yellow, flaring down and outwards from the center.Like its relatives, Wingstem is a great source of food for late season pollinators. The ray flowers open first as a signal to pollinators that the flower head is open for business. The disk flowers bloom a few at a time, starting with those closest to the ray flowers, then over many days gradually working towards the center of the head. In each disk flower, the male reproductive parts (stamens) mature first, opening their anthers to make pollen available. Later the female reproductive parts (pistils) replace the stamens, the stigmas at the tips of the pistils becoming receptive to pollen. At any time while in bloom there may be some flowers in a head that are in the male phase, others in the female phase.
Wingstem is an herbaceous perennial that often grows to a height of 5-6 feet (1.5-2 meters), but can reach eight feet (2.5 meters) tall. It can tolerate full sun to part shade, average to moist soil. This plant’s name describes its appearance, providing clues to its identification. ‘Wingstem’ refers to the leafy wing-like appendages along the sides of the main stem of the plant. ‘Verbesina’ means that its foliage is similar to that of verbena, and ‘alternifolia’ tells us that the leaves are alternate, not opposite each other where they attach to the stem.Do you come to peoples’ homes and help themlearn about their flora? I’d lovethe chance to learn about the variety here and how to nurture it. There are many wonderful plants here, like the cohosh, ginseng, sassafras, sourwood, mullein, geranium, crownbeard or wingstem – not sure if i have either or just both, maypop, passion flower, to name a few. i’d love to have nature walks here, but need to understand it better. (Source: virginiawildflowers.org)