Weak or spreading, strigose annual, often rooting at the nodes; lvs lanceolate or lance-elliptic to lance-linear, acute, narrowed to a sessile or shortly petiolar base, remotely serrulate, 2-10 cm נ4-25 mm; heads 1-3 in terminal or axillary clusters on the many branches, the disk 4-6 mm wide in fl; invol bracts, or some of them, usually a little exceeding the disk; rays whitish, minute; achenes 2-2.5 mm, rugose or warty, slightly hairy above; pappus a nearly obsolete crown well removed from the margins of the truncate-topped achene; 2n=22. A weed in bottomlands and muddy places, native to the New World, now pantropical, and n. in our range to Mass., s. Ont., and Wis. Aug.-Oct. (E. alba; E. erecta; Verbesina a.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
Local throughout the state, but frequent to common along the bank of the Ohio River and in the Lower Wabash Bottoms. This is a southern species which is migrating northward and it may be absent as yet from the northern tier of counties. It prefers the muddy shores of streams, ponds, and sloughs but is found also in low places in cultivated fields.
FNA 2006, Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougall 1973
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Low annual herbs, 10-50 cm tall; stems leafy, procumbent or ascending, more or less strigose (with stiff appressed hairs). Leaves: Opposite; sessile to short-petiolate; blades linear, lanceolate, or elliptic, 2-10 cm long, with toothed margins. Flowers: Flower heads small and inconspicuous, radiate, on peduncles in the upper leaf axils, solitary or in clusters of a few; involucre (ring of bracts wrapped around flower head) hemispheric, 3-5 mm diamater, the bracts (phyllaries) 8-12 in 2-3 series, the outer phyllaries broader and longer, the inner narrow and short; ray florets 20-40, the laminae (ray petals) white and short (2 mm long); disk florets whitish, numerous, 1.5 mm high. Fruits: Achenes short and 4-angled, becoming corky on the angles; lacking pappus or topped with a tiny vestigial bristle-like pappus. Ecology: Found along streams and ditches, below 4,500 ft (1372 m); flowers June-September. Distribution: Widespread in North America east of the Mississippi River; also TX to CA and n MEX; introduced to the Old World. Notes: This easily overlooked annual herb thrives in wet, disturbed habitats like river banks and is widely distributed in the world's warmer regions. Look for the opposite leaves with toothed edges; the tiny white flower heads with short-stubby ray petals, the flower heads nestled in the leaf axils on short peduncles or elevated on longer peduncles; and the distinctly 4-angled, wedge-shaped seeds. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Eclipta is from Greek ekleipo meaning deficient, for the seeds lacking a pappus; prostrata means prostrate. Synonyms: Eclipta alba, Eclipta punctata, Verbesina alba, Verbesina prostrata Editor: LCrumbacher 2011, AHazelton 2016