Elephantopus carolinianus

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: low

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: average, loam, sand

Height: 2'-3'

Bloom Time: July, August, September, October

Bloom Color: white, lavender

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Additional Tags: attracts bees, colonizing, drought tolerant, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, woodland plant

Elephantopus carolinianus (Carolina elephantsfoot)
  • Elephantopus carolinianus (Carolina elephantsfoot)
  • Elephantopus carolinianus (Carolina elephantsfoot)
  • Elephantopus carolinianus (Carolina elephantsfoot)
  • Elephantopus carolinianus (Carolina elephantsfoot)

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Description

Elephantopus carolinianus

Also known as:

Carolina elephantsfoot

,

Carolina elephant-foot

,

elephant's foot

Scientific Synonyms:

Elephantopus flexuosus, Elephantopus violaceus

Description

Elephantopus carolinianus is a herbaceous perennial wildflower that typically grows to a height of 3' when in bloom. It is a member of the Aster family, yet the flowers lack a central disk and are more reminiscent of ironweeds. The terminal blooms are composed of clustered inflorescences cupped by three, showy, dark green bracts. The individual flowers form pale lavender rays about 1" across. The species is probably best known for its showy basal foliage that lead to the common name 'elephant's foot'. Individual leaves are up to 1' long, broad and eliptic tapering at the base.

Cultivation

Carolina elephantsfoot is easy to grow in average garden conditions. It will tolerate full sun to part-shade, and prefers moist to dry, well-drained soil. Its striking foliage can be used effectively in woodland border gardens, or perennial beds. It can also be used as a ground cover and weed barrier when planted in groups. It is a late summer, to early fall bloomer. Zones 5-10

Propagation

Easy to propagate from seed. Can spread easily where there is disturbed soil, but is easy to control.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: NJ, PA

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Asterales
Family Asteraceae Aster family
Genus Elephantopus elephantsfoot
Species Elephantopus carolinianus Carolina elephantsfoot