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Heterotheca shevockii Flower flinton lg.jpg
Heterotheca shevockii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae[1]
Genus: Heterotheca
Type species
Heterotheca lamarckii[2]
syn of H. subaxillaris[3]
  • Diplocoma D.Don ex D.Don
  • Chrysopsis subg. Ammodia (Nutt.) A.Gray
  • Ammodia Nutt.
  • Heterotheca sect. Ammodia (Nutt.) V.L.Harms
  • Calycium Elliott

Heterotheca, (common names goldenasters, camphorweed, or telegraph weed)[5] are North American plants in the sunflower family.[2][6]


Heterotheca comes from Ancient Greek ἕτερος héteros "other, different" and θήκη thḗkē "case, chest", and refers to the fact that, in some species in the genus, the cypselae (achenes containing seed) of the disk and ray florets have different shapes.[5][7]

Description, biology[edit]

These are annual and perennial herbs bearing daisy-like flower heads with yellow disc florets and usually yellow ray florets, associated with mesic to xeric habitats across North America. Several species now included in Heterotheca were previously classified in the genus Chrysopsis[1][5]

Heterotheca species are often used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Schinia lynx, Schinia nubila and Schinia saturata (all of which have been recorded on Heterotheca subaxillaris).


The leaf volatiles from which the name "camphorweed" is derived include camphor, but as a minor constituent (less than 2%); of the 41 documented volatiles in a study of Heterotheca subaxillaris, for example, caryophyllene, pinene, borneol, myrcene, and limonene each comprised over 5% of the total.[8]


  1. Heterotheca barbata (Rydb.) Semple - Spokane golden aster - Washington Idaho
  2. Heterotheca brandegeei (B.L.Rob. & Greenm.) Semple - northern Baja California
  3. Heterotheca camporum (Greene) Shinners - Arkansas Missouri Iowa Illinois Ohio Michigan Kentucky Tennessee Mississippi Alabama Georgia Virginia North Carolina New Jersey
  4. Heterotheca canescens (DC.) Shinners - Nuevo León, Texas New Mexico Oklahoma Colorado Kansas Missouri Iowa
  5. Heterotheca fastigiata (Greene) V.L.Harms - California
  6. Heterotheca fulcrata (Greene) Shinners - Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Arizona New Mexico Texas Nevada Utah Colorado Wyoming Idaho
  7. Heterotheca grandiflora - Telegraphweed - Baja California, California Arizona Nevada Utah
  8. Heterotheca gypsophila B.L.Turner - Nuevo León
  9. Heterotheca inuloides Cass. - Mexican arnica - from Nuevo León to Oaxaca
  10. Heterotheca jonesii (S.F.Blake) S.L.Welsh & N.D.Atwood - Utah
  11. Heterotheca leptoglossa DC. - Guanajuato, Chihuahua, Sonora, Sinaloa, Jalisco, San Luis Potosí
  12. Heterotheca marginata Semple - Arizona
  13. Heterotheca mexicana V.L.Harms ex B.L.Turner - Durango
  14. Heterotheca monarchensis D.A.York, Shevock & Semple - monarch golden aster - Fresno County in California
  15. Heterotheca mucronata V.L.Harms ex B.L.Turner - Nuevo León, Coahuila, Tamaulipas
  16. Heterotheca oregona (Nutt.) Shinners
  17. Heterotheca pumila (Greene) Semple - Colorado Wyoming Utah New Mexico
  18. Heterotheca rutteri (Rothr.) Shinners - Sonora, Arizona
  19. Heterotheca sessiliflora (Nutt.) Shinners - Sessileflower false golden aster - Baja California, California
  20. Heterotheca shevockii (Semple) Semple - Kern Canyon false golden aster - Kern County in California
  21. Heterotheca stenophylla (A.Gray) Shinners - Texas New Mexico Oklahoma Colorado Wyoming Kansas Nebraska South Dakota Iowa Minnesota
  22. Heterotheca subaxillaris (Lam.) Britton & Rusby - Camphorweed, camphor weed, false goldenaster[7] - widespread from Belize to California, South Dakota, + Massachusetts
  23. Heterotheca villosa (Pursh) Shinners
  24. Heterotheca viscida (A.Gray) V.L.Harms - Arizona New Mexico Texas
  25. Heterotheca zionensis Semple - Zion golden aster - Arizona New Mexico Texas Utah Idaho Wyoming


Formerly included[edit]

Many species have been included in Heterotheca at various times in the past, but now regarded as more suitable for other genera. The most common of these is Chrysopsis, but others include Aster Bradburia Osbertia Munnozia Pityopsis + Tomentaurum.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist
  2. ^ a b "Heterotheca". Tropicos. Missouri Botanical Garden. 
  3. ^ "Heterotheca". The Plant List. Missouri Botanical Garden. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 
  4. ^ The Plant List, search for Heterotheca
  5. ^ a b c Semple, John C. (2006). "Heterotheca". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee. Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). 20. New York and Oxford. Retrieved 16 July 2016 – via eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA. 
  6. ^ Cassini, Alexandre Henri Gabriel de. 1817. Bulletin des Sciences, par la Societe Philomatique 1817: 137
  7. ^ a b C. Williamson, Gerald (2016). "US Wildflower - Camphorweed, Camphor Weed, False Goldenaster - Heterotheca subaxillaris". US Wildflowers. Retrieved 16 July 2016. 
  8. ^ Lincoln, D.E., B.M. Lawrence. 1984. The volatile constituents of camphorweed, Heterotheca subaxillaris. Phytochemistry 23(4):933-934
  9. ^ "Heterotheca". County-level distribution maps from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014. 

External links[edit]