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Elephant's Foot

Elephantopus tomentosus

Other common name(s):

Common Elephant's-foot, Devil's Grandmother

Family:

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Flatwoods, Floodplains and Low Terraces3, Pleistocene Fluvial Terraces, Red River Bottomlands, Southern Tertiary Uplands, Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Herbaceous

Height

.25
to
2
ft.

Spread

.25
to
2
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Well Drained, Dry

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade

Water Requirement

Low, Medium, High

Native Habitat

Woodland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Pink, Purple

Bloom Season

Fall

Seasonal Interest

Forage, Nectar

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies

Maintenance

Prefers open or shaded, dry pine forests and mixed forests, often on sandy soils. Needs good drainage. Give lots of room due to its ability to self-seed and spread easily. The growth habit (leaves forming just above ground level) tends to smother out other plant growth and because the leaves are so close to the ground. It prefers average, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade.

Comments

Blooms August – November. It has a short rhizome and grows quickly to a height of 2 feet with pink or purple flowers. The leaves form at the base of the plants, are of various sizes, overlap each other around the stem, and lay flat close to the ground. The flowering stalk has no leaves, with the exception of the bracts under the flowers. Flowers attract pollinators and leaves provide forage.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonym(s): Elephantopus carolinianus var. simplex, Elephantopus nudicaulis

References

1) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=37300#null, 2) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ELTO2, 3) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=2795&locationType=County&mapType=Normal, 4) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Elephantopus+tomentosus&formsubmit=Search+Terms, 5) https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/elephantopus-tomentosus/