Etymology: Helianthus: derived from two Greek words helios, "sun," and anthos, "flower," in reference to the sunflower's supposed tendency to always turn toward the sun
Plants: erect to drooping, perennial, 2'-5' tall forb often more than one stem; stems very grey-hairy; spreading rhizomes forming dense colonies
Leaves: opposite, ovate, clasping, turning black when dried or damaged
Flowers: head 2" wide, yellow rays, disk slightly domed; bracts (phyllaries) short, curly, hairy; blooms Aug.-Sept.
Habitat: full sun; dry; prairies; in sandy soil
Conservation Status: Introduced - adventive
Flora of North America: Flora of North America USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos Dan Tenaglia's The Missouri Flora: Fabulous photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leave arrangement key. Illinois Wildflowers: Wonderful photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leaf arrangement key