Bear’s Foot, Yellow leafcup – Smallanthus uvedalius

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BEAR’S FOOT  (Smallanthus uvedalia) belongs to the  Asteraceae family

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The plant is large, coarse,  and bushy growing between 3 and 10 feet tall.  It is also known as “Yellow Leafcup”, and locally by the Indian name of “Shawshanny”.

These tall plants with daisy-like flowers like to grow in damp places.  In spring, the tender leaves are enjoyed as salad by local aficionados.

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The leaves are opposite and form a small cup at the stem which explains the name Yellow Leafcup or Hairy Leafcup, as the leaf is indeed rough to the touch and “hairy”.  The leaves are very dark green and to me they look like a large elongated maple leaf, but it must look like a bear’s foot to a lot of people, hence the other name it goes by, Bear’s Foot.

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The flowers are smaller than you would expect for a plant of its size.  Notice the seeds beginning to form in the disk.

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Dark, round fruit on spent flowers

Bumble bee on Bear's foot

Bumble bee on Bear’s foot

2 thoughts on “Bear’s Foot, Yellow leafcup – Smallanthus uvedalius

  1. I love this native plant. I gathered seed while on a field trip and I now have them growing on my property. My property was once used for timbering and I’m striving to restore the native flora. It’s a work in progress but every year is showing that it’s slowly recovering.

  2. I photographed this plant in the Columbia bottomlands on the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge. This is probably as far as it goes in Texas. I like this plant because it doesn’t get crazy like frostweed and hope to have it grow in my backyard next summer.
    Thomas
    Botanist
    Texas Midcoast National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

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