Kalm in C. Linnaeus
Sp. Pl. 2: 926. 1753.
Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 396. 1754.
Etymology: Greek Polymnia, muse of sacred music and dance
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 21. Treatment on page 39. Mentioned on page 38.

Annuals or perennials, 50–150+ cm (often rhizomatous). Stems erect, branched distally. Leaves all or mostly cauline; opposite; petiolate (petioles often ± winged, often with connate-perfoliate basal appendages); blades (pinnately nerved) deltate or rounded-rhombic to cordate or ovate, often raggedly pinnately lobed (lobes 3–11), ultimate margins coarsely toothed to denticulate or entire, faces pilose or pilosulous to hirtellous, or glabrate, or glabrous, gland-dotted and/or stipitate-glandular. Heads usually radiate, rarely ± disciform, (2–5+) in loose to congested, corymbiform clusters. Calyculi 0. Involucres hemispheric, 4–15+ mm diam. Phyllaries persistent, 6–21+ in 2 series (distinct, outer 2–6 ovate to linear, ± herbaceous, inner ovate to lanceolate, subequal to or shorter than outer, more scarious, similar to paleae). Receptacles flat to convex, paleate (paleae obovate to oblanceolate or spatulate, herbaceous to scarious). Ray florets 2–6, pistillate, fertile; corollas pale yellowish to whitish (tubes pilosulous, laminae ± cuneate to linear, 3-lobed, sometimes absent or nearly so). Disc florets 12–30+, functionally staminate; corollas pale yellow, tubes shorter than abruptly dilated throats, lobes 5, deltate to lance-ovate. Cypselae plumply pyriform, ± obcompressed, 3–6-angled or -ribbed, finely striate between ribs (narrowed at bases, patently inserted on receptacles, often minutely beaked), sparsely hirtellous or glabrate; pappi 0. x = 15.


c, e North America.


Species 3 (3 in the flora).


1 Annuals; blades of larger leaves shallowly, if at all, pinnately lobed Polymnia cossatotensis
1 Perennials; blades of larger leaves usually deeply pinnately lobed > 2
2 Stems pilosulous to villous and/or stipitate-glandular; cypselae 3-angled or -ribbed Polymnia canadensis
2 Stems glabrous or glabrate; cypselae 4–6-angled or -ribbed Polymnia laevigata