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

Heterotheca shevockii Flower flinton lg.jpg
Heterotheca shevockii
Scientific classification

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 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, biologyEdit

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]



Formerly includedEdit

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.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ The Plant List, search for Heterotheca
  5. ^ a b c Semple, John C. (2006). "Heterotheca". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.). 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 linksEdit