I recently found this cutleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata, Asteraceae) in a floodplain forest near Blissfield Michigan. Here’s a closeup of the flower:
When I was identifying this plant, what initially confused the hell out of me was the morphology of the leaves and this plant’s proximity to the giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida, Asteraceae) in the area. Both plants have three-lobed leaves:
They were growing almost on top of each other in every place I found them. For a moment I almost thought I was dealing with a single dioecious species: one that has separate male and female plants for reproduction. I knew giant ragweed isn’t dioecious, so then the hunt was on to figure out the identity of the yellow-flowered plant. I knew it was a member of the family Asteraceae, but “DYC” plants (Damned Yellow Composites) can be hard to identify. Using this site I was able to finally figure it out.