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The foliage of this plant smells strongly of camphor and was sometimes used instead of camphor. The plant (Pluchea camphorata) belongs to the sunflower family (Asteraceae). Note: A 1918 wildflower book listed salt-marsh fleabane as Pluchea camphorata and commented that the flowers had a faint odor of camphor. A more recent wildflower book that mentions the camphor weed refers to marsh fleabane as Pluchea purpurascens. The Asteraceae family is very large, and apparently changes continue to be made to the nomenclature.
1001 Words and Phrases You Never Knew You Didn’t Know by W.R. Runyan Copyright © 2011 by W.R. Runyan