Verbesina alternifolia is a perennial herb 1-3 m tall, stem usually hairy, often winged.
Leaves alternate, lanceolate, 10-25 cm long, 2-8 cm wide, roughly hairy, esp. above, (hairs often with swollen bases, use hand lens), tip long pointed, base tapering to short stalk, margin toothed to entire.
Flowers yellow, rays 2-10, 1-3 cm long, sterile, disk flowers yellow, tending to spread out rather loosely even before opening, disk 1-1.5 cm wide, bracts of head few, narrow, loose, bent downward.
Fruit dry achenes, flat, usually winged, topped by two awns, in a rounded head, spreading in all directions, to 1.5 cm wide. Differs from Helianthus in alt. leaves and open, sloppy flower heads with loose, downward-bent bracts.
Wetland status: FAC.
Frequency in NYC: (NYS S2, T) Very infrequent.
Habitat: Moist woods, shady edges.