Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Wildflower Wednesday: Krigia biflora

Krigia biflora, aka, two-flowered Cynthia, is one of my favorite wildflowers. Those of you who shy away from vibrant golden yellow or luminous orange flowers may be asking yourself, "What ever does she see in that flower? It looks like a dandelion."

It does resemble a dandelion and that doesn't bother me! In fact, it looks so similar to Taraxacum that one of its common names is two-flowered dwarf dandelion.

What's special:

  • It's an early blooming native that could replace dandelions in your garden
  • Its color is more orange than yellow
  • That blue-green foliage
  • The flower is lovely
  • Fairly long bloom time
  • It doesn't spread all over your garden like a dandelion will. Although, I wouldn't mind if it did. 
  • It will grow in almost any soil (except water logged)

It's a delightful and charming native flower that is visited by many pollinators~bumblebees, honeybees, little carpenter bees, cuckoo bees, mason bees, beetles, flower flies, predatory wasps, skippers and butterflies.

Plants growing in cracks always says: Needs good drainage!

Although, I had no luck winter sowing Krigia, it popped up in a crack in my asphalt driveway.

The Krigias are named for David Krieg, a German physician, who traveled to America in 1696. He and fellow botanist, William Vernon, collected specimens of plants, insects and shells in what is now present day Maryland. This wonderful yellow orange aster was collected on Krieg’s trip and the genus Krigia was established to honor his contribution to the science of botany. (source)

 The Particulars:

Botanical name: Krigia biflora 

Common name: Two-flowered Cynthia, Two flowered dwarf dandelion, Dwarfdandelion

Type: Perennial

Family: Asteraceae (daisies, sunflowers)

Bloom time:  May - August depending upon where you garden

Flower: the flower head has ray flowers only, meaning all of the individual flowers of the flower head have a strap-shaped ray, which may or may not have teeth at the very tip of the ray

Flower color: yellow or orange yellow 

Leaves: Simple Basal rosette & alternate  


Height:  1 to 2 feet 

Space:  8 to 12 inches   

Sun:  Light sun to shade, think dappled sunlight.

Moisture: Dry to average

Soil: Almost any soil that is not water logged.

Preferred Habitat: prairies, open woodland and meadows.

Found in: AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, TN, VA, WI, WV  and  Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario.

Wildlife value: Cynthia attracts all types of pollinators, such as bees, wasps, flies, butterflies and beetles. The Krigia Andrenid Bee, Andrena krigiana, specifically feeds on the pollen of Krigia spp. (source) Go to INaturalist for an extensive list of critters who visit Two Flowered Cynthia

Related species: Krigia is a genus in the family Asteraceae. They are known generally as dwarf dandelions or dwarfdandelions. There are seven species in the US and six species in Tennessee.

Comments: Produces a latex that seems to deter deer foraging on it. It closes at night like a dandelion, perhaps to protect it's reproductive parts.

Uses: Plant in native naturalistic garden, prairie or meadow. I grow it in a container and it's been outdoors like that for 10 years. It appears to be deer resistant.  Pollinators visit the showy flowers, it's drought tolerant, and has a long bloom period.


So glad you stopped by to see Krigia biflora. Perhaps, I've changed your mind and you now appreciate  luminous orange flowers.



Wildflower Wednesday is about sharing wildflowers from your part of the world. Don't worry if you have nothing in bloom, you can still showcase one of your favorites. It doesn't matter if we sometimes show the same plants; how they grow and thrive in your garden is what matters most. I hope you join the celebration...It's always the fourth Wednesday of each month.


Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely blooms. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson