Rattlesnake Root
Prenanthes altissima
Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower) Family

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Rattlesnake Root is also known as Tall White Lettuce. This is a tall, upright, smooth biennial. Its preferred habitat is mixed woods, rocky slopes and open meadows. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

The leaves are alternate on the stem, consisting of one whole part, toothed and dissected or palm-like lobes on the lower stem. Upper leaves are nearly sessile while the lower leaves have stalks. The upper leaves are dark green and the lower leaves may be darker and occasionally purple.

The flowers are panicle-like with drooping heads. The flowers are yellowish; 9 to 10 or more heads per bundle. The involucre (a whorl of separate or fused leaves or bracts subtending an inflorescence or a single flower) are green to purplish. Flowers occur in autumn.

Fruit is achene.

The plant, P. serpentaria (Gall-of-the-Earth or Lion's Foot) is similar but has 8 or fewer flowers per head.

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