Helianthus occidentalis
Family: Asteraceae
few-leaved sunflower, naked-stemmed sunflower, western sunflower
Helianthus occidentalis image
Christopher Noll  
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, 2'-5' tall forb; stems with a few, small leaves
Leaves: largest leaves basal on very long stalks, only 3-8 small opposite pairs on the stemsleaf drawing
Flowers: head 1 1/2" - 2 3/4" wide with 10-15 yellow rays, disk yellow; inflorescence of several heads in loosely-branched clusters; blooms July-Sept.
Habitat: full sun; dry to moderate moisture; prairies; in rocky, sandy, loamy soil
Conservation Status: Native