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Florida paintbrush (Carphephorus corymbosus) (6256923212).jpg
Carphephorus corymbosus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Carphephorus
Type species
Carphephorus pseudoliatris

Carphephorus is a genus of North American plants in the sunflower family.[1] They are native to the southeastern United States from Louisiana to Virginia.[2] Plants of this genus are known commonly as chaffheads.[3]


These are perennial plants that grow from a caudex and fibrous root system. The stems are erect and unbranched, usually reaching 20 to 60 centimeters (8-24 inches) in height, and taller at times. The leaves are alternately arranged and point upward, sometimes pressed against the stem. The blades vary in shape and are hairy to hairless and generally glandular. The flower heads are borne in open inflorescences. Each head contains up to about 35 disc florets, usually lavender to dark magenta or pinkish purple, sometimes blue.[2] The fruit is a ribbed, rough-textured cypsela with a pappus of bristles.[2]


Some authors separate certain species into separate genera, Trilisa and Litrisa, on the basis of certain floral characters. The species are similar enough in other aspects that other authors maintain them in Carphephorus.[2] Molecular data may support the separation of at least some of the taxa.[4]

Carphephorus is in the tribe Eupatorieae of the aster family. Like other members of this tribe, the flower heads have disc florets and no ray florets. It is also in the subtribe Liatrinae along with, for example, Liatris and Garberia.[5]

Species and varieties[2][3][6][7]
formerly included[6]


A number of species contain volatile oils, giving characteristic odors.[11][12]


  1. ^ Cassini, Alexandre Henri Gabriel de. 1816. Bulletin des Sciences, par la Societe Philomatique 1816: 198 in French
  2. ^ a b c d e "Carphephorus Cassini". Flora of North America. 
  3. ^ a b Carpephorus. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
  4. ^ Schilling, E. E. and P. B. Cox (2001). "Botany 2001 Abstracts". Botanical Society of America.  |contribution= ignored (help)
  5. ^ "Garberia A.Gray". Flora of North America. 
  6. ^ a b Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Biota of North America Program 2013 county distribution maps
  8. ^ "Carphephorus odoratissimus var. subtropicanus". Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants. 
  9. ^ Delaney K. R.; et al. (1999). "A new species of Carphephorus (Asteraceae; Eupatorieae) from peninsular Florida". Bot. Explor. (1). 
  10. ^ Wunderlin, R. P.; Hansen, B. F. (2001). "Seven new combinations in the Florida flora". Novon. Missouri Botanical Garden Press. 11 (3): 366. doi:10.2307/3393048. JSTOR 3393048. 
  11. ^ Karlsson, K. et al. (1972). Volatile constituents of Carphephorus corymbosus and Carphephorus paniculatus. Acta Chemica Scandinavica 26(10) 3839–48. ISSN 0001-5393
  12. ^ Karlsson, K.; et al. (1972). "Volatile constituents of Carphephorus odoratissimus (J.F. Gmel) Hebert.". Acta Chemica Scandinavica. 26 (7): 2837–46. doi:10.3891/acta.chem.scand.26-2837. ISSN 0001-5393. PMID 4650326.