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, perennial, 1' - 6 1/2' tall forb; stems usually leafless near the top
Leaves: 2 1/2 to 8 times as long as wide, mostly all opposite, tapering to a short stalk, very rough, often folded upward along the midrib, up to 15 pairs below the inflorescence
Flowers: head 2" - 3 1/2" wide, 10-21 yellow rays; 1/2"-1" wide, reddish-purple disk; bracts (phyllaries) short, compact; inflorescence of one to a few, long-stalked heads; blooms Aug.-Sept.
Habitat: prairies, roadsides
Conservation Status: Native
Flora of North America: Flora of North America Floristic Rating: Coefficient of Conservatism = 7 Atlas of the Wisconsin Prairie and Savanna Flora: by T.S. Cochrane & H.H. Iltis: habitat, distribution infomation / flowering and fruiting times USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos Illinois Wildflowers: Wonderful photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leaf arrangement key