Inula britannica L.
(=Inula japonica Thunb., Conyza britannica (L.) Moris ex Rupr.)
Family Asteraceae, Tribe Inuleae
meadow fleabane, British yellowhead
Fruit an achene, narrowly obovate to oblong, 1–2 mm long, 0.3–0.5 mm diameter; cross-section star-shaped; surface longitudinally fluted (ca. 8 ribs), pilose, reddish-brown. Attachment scar basal, roundish, indistinct. Pappus of 20+ barbellate bristles, cream-colored to reddish golden-brown, measuring 4–6 mm long, sometimes broken but not detached at their bases, +/– persistent. Style base roundish, +/– flanged. Embryo spatulate; endosperm absent.
native to Europe and temperate Asia
Over the past century, it has been introduced to Canada and the United States, including Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Oregon. Currently, in the U.S., it is only known to occur in Michigan.
wet habitats at low altitudes, including river and stream margins, marshes, ditches, wet grassland, and wet woods
Inula britannica is a herbaceous perennial standing 15–75 cm tall. It reproduces naturally by the dispersal of its wind-borne fruits and spread of its rhizomes. As a weed, its international dispersal occurs primarily as a result of the ornamental bulb trade. The plants infest bulb farms in The Netherlands; when the bulbs are harvested and shipped abroad, they may contain bits of Inula rhizomes lodged between the scales of the bulbs. When mixed in with hosta rootstock, the Inula roots are recognized as being light white and smooth, while the hosta roots are thicker and covered with small raised bumps.