|After harvesting leaves|
Missouriplants has a good description with pictures from 2003. It raises a question of toxicity but other reputable sources such as the USDA list it as non-toxic.
We aren't the only creatures enjoying this nutritious plant.** The nectar and pollen of the flowerheads attract many kinds of insects, including long-tongued bees, short-tongued bees, predatory wasps, butterflies, skippers, moths, and various kinds of flies. It is a larval host plant for the Silvery Checkerspot butterfly (Chlosyne nycteis) and the Wavy-Lined Emerald moth (Synchlora aerata) as well as other insects. The common gold finch eats its seeds.
|Silvery Checkerspot - Wikimedia|
|Wavy-lined emerald - Tom Murray|
|Emerald moth caterpillar - Kevin Firth|
* Christine Chiu, Master Naturalist and Gardener, was "botanizing" with us Saturday, she immediately recognized this as a plant she had been reading about. She introduced us to the name sochan and sent this great link on growing it.