The genus Prenanthes Linnaeus

Remark The words or terms in red (actually dark orange) in the text are defined in a glossary.

sep_06_06c.gthmb can't be loaded. Plants of the Prenanthes genus are taprooted and often produce offshoots offshoots connected by slender rhizomes. Their stems are usually erect and simple. Their capitula are usually nodding at anthesis, and have from 4 to close to 40 florets. Their seeds have a persistent pappus. Their chromosome number (2n) is 8.

There are about 40 species in the genus, that are found in North America, northern Asia, Africa (one species). 14 species are found in North America, and of these 4 are found in Québec:

Prenanthes is recognized by the erect and simple habit, their nodding capitula. Leaf shape, size, and lobes are at times exceptionally variable.


In Greek, πρηνησ (prênês) means nodding and ανθοσ (anthos) means flower, the genus name alluding to the drooping flower heads. Somme common names for the genus are Rattlesnakeroot, Cankerweed, Gall-of-the-earth.