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Helianthus giganteus, Tall Sunflower
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 9
Helianthus giganteus, Tall Sunflower

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Helianthus angustifolius, Narrowleaf Sunflower
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 8
Helianthus angustifolius, Narrowleaf Sunflower
Helianthus divaricatus, Woodland Sunflower
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 8
Helianthus divaricatus, Woodland Sunflower

Helianthus divaricatus - Woodland Sunflower
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 8
Helianthus divaricatus - Woodland Sunflower
Helianthus giganteus, Tall Sunflower
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 8
Helianthus giganteus, Tall Sunflower

Helianthus tuberosus, Jerusalem Artichoke
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 7
Helianthus tuberosus, Jerusalem Artichoke
Helianthus tuberosus
© Les Mehrhoff, 2008-2010 · 6
Helianthus tuberosus

Helianthus tuberosus
© Les Mehrhoff, 2008-2010 · 5
Helianthus tuberosus
Helianthus annuus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Helianthus annuus

Helianthus annuus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Helianthus annuus
Helianthus annuus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Helianthus annuus

Helianthus annuus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Helianthus annuus
Helianthus annuus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Helianthus annuus

Helianthus angustifolius
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Helianthus angustifolius
Helianthus angustifolius
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Helianthus angustifolius

Associates · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Andrenidae  Andrena accepta @ I_JSA (2); RUAC_ENT (2); AMNH_BEE (36); UCRC_ENT (1)

Andrena helianthi @ AMNH_BEE (5)

Calliopsis coloratipes @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Perdita albipennis @ UCRC_ENT (15)

Perdita aridella @ AMNH_BEE (1); UCRC_ENT (1)

Perdita bequaerti @ AMNH_BEE (6); UCRC_ENT (5)

Perdita dolichocephala @ UCRC_ENT (3)

Perdita verbesinae @ UCRC_ENT (3)

Protandrena @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Protoxaea gloriosa @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Pseudopanurgus aethiops @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Pseudopanurgus albitarsis @ AMNH_BEE (10)

Pseudopanurgus leucopterus @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Pseudopanurgus porterae @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Aphelinidae  Encarsia @ UCRC_ENT (4)

Encarsia luteola @ UCRC_ENTA (7)

Encarsia meritoria @ UCRC_ENTA (44)

Encarsia @ UCRC_ENTA (2)

Eretmocerus emiratus @ UCRC_ENTA (1)

Eretmocerus hayati? @ UCRC_ENTA (2)

Eretmocerus mundus @ UCRC_ENTA (1)

Eretmocerus mundus? @ UCRC_ENTA (2)

Eretmocerus mundus? @ UCRC_ENTA (3)

Eretmocerus sp_pakistan? @ UCRC_ENTA (1)

Eretmocerus sp_pakistan? @ UCRC_ENTA (1)

Eretmocerus sp_uae @ UCRC_ENTA (2)

Eretmocerus sp_uae? @ UCRC_ENTA (1)

Eretmocerus @ UCRC_ENTA (16)
Aphididae  Aphis ( @ CSUC_TCN (39); AMNH_PBI (4)

Brachycaudus ( @ CSUC_TCN (1)

Prociphilus ( @ NCSU (6)

Uroleucon ( @ AMNH_PBI (3); NCSU (6)
Apidae  Anthophora curta @ LACM_ENTB (1); AMNH_BEE (2)

Anthophora urbana @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Bombus bifarius @ EMEC_JPS__JPS (5)

Bombus centralis @ EMEC (3)

Bombus citrinus @ CUIC_ENT (1)

Bombus fervidus @ CUIC_ENT (1); AMNH_BEE (3); LACM_ENTB (2)

Bombus flavifrons @ EMEC (3)

Bombus fraternus @ EMEC (1)

Bombus griseocollis @ BMEC_ENT (2); LACM_ENTB (1); CUIC_ENT (2); AMNH_BEE (5)

Bombus huntii @ AMNH_BEE (3)

Bombus medius @ EMEC (1)

Bombus melanopygus @ EMEC (1); LACM_ENTB (1)

Bombus morrisoni @ AMNH_BEE (17); EMEC (4); LACM_ENTB (1); UCRC_ENT (1); BMEC_ENT (1)

Bombus nevadensis @ EMEC (5)

Bombus occidentalis @ EMEC_JPS__JPS (5)

Bombus pensylvanicus @ BMEC_ENT (2); UCRC_ENT (4); LACM_ENTB (4); EMEC (7); AMNH_BEE (2)

Bombus perplexus @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Bombus rufocinctus @ AMNH_BEE (1); EMEC (20)

Bombus sonorus @ BMEC_ENT (1)

Bombus terricola @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Centris caesalpiniae @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Diadasia @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Diadasia diminuta @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Diadasia enavata @ AMNH_BEE (28); CSCA (1)

Diadasia rinconis @ AMNH_BEE (1); UCRC_ENT (1)

Diadasia vallicola @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Ericrocis lata @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Exomalopsis solidaginis @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Melissodes @ UCRC_ENT (3)

Melissodes agilis @ AMNH_BEE (8); CUIC_ENT (95)

Melissodes confusus @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Melissodes coreopsis @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Melissodes denticulata @ CUIC_ENT (1)

Melissodes desponsa @ CUIC_ENT (4)

Melissodes druriella @ CUIC_ENT (2)

Melissodes illata @ CUIC_ENT (1)

Melissodes robustior @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Melissodes trinodis @ AMNH_BEE (14); I_JSA (2)

Melissodes tristis @ AMNH_BEE (4); UCRC_ENT (1)

Nomada adducta @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Nomada edwardsii @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Nomada gutierreziae @ AMNH_BEE (3)

Nomada texana @ AMNH_BEE (3)

Nomada vincta @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Svastra machaerantherae @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Svastra obliqua @ AMNH_BEE (16)

Svastra sabinensis @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Syntrichalonia exquisita @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Tetraloniella eriocarpi @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Xeromelecta californica @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Xylocopa varipuncta @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Braconidae  Lysiphlebus ( @ AMNH_PBI (11)
Cicadellidae  Oncometopia ( @ NCSU_ENT (21)
Coccidae  Parthenolecanium corni @ CSCA_TCN (1)
Coccinellidae  Coccinella septempunctata @ I_LB (1)
Colletidae  Colletes birkmanni @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Colletes intermixtus @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Colletes phaceliae @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Colletes rufocinctus @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Crabronidae  Philanthus multimaculatus @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Delphacidae  Stobaera tricarinata @ UDCC_TCN (1)
Diaspididae  Hemiberlesia lataniae @ MEMU_ENT (3)
Encyrtidae  Acerophagus @ UCRC_ENT (2)
Geocoridae  Geocoris punctipes @ AMNH_IZC (2)
Halictidae  Agapostemon angelicus @ AMNH_BEE (8)

Agapostemon melliventris @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Agapostemon tyleri @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Agapostemon virescens @ AMNH_BEE (1); CUIC_ENT (1)

Augochlora pura @ CUIC_ENT (7)

Augochloropsis sumptuosa @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Dieunomia bolliana @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Dieunomia heteropoda @ UCRC_ENT (6)

Halictus ligatus @ AMNH_BEE (17)

Lasioglossum cinctipes @ AMNH_BEE (4)

Lasioglossum comulum @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Lasioglossum foxii @ CUIC_ENT (1)

Lasioglossum hitchensi @ CUIC_ENT (1)

Lasioglossum pictum @ AMNH_BEE (5)

Lasioglossum quebecense @ CUIC_ENT (1)

Lasioglossum zonulum @ CUIC_ENT (1)
Lygaeidae  Xyonysius californicus @ AMNH_IZC (2)
Megachilidae  Anthidium maculosum @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Ashmeadiella @ UCRC_ENT (4)

Coelioxys octodentata @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Coelioxys rufitarsis @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Dianthidium @ UCRC_ENT (8)

Dianthidium curvatum @ UCRC_ENT (2); AMNH_BEE (7)

Dianthidium ulkei @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Megachile brevis @ UCRC_ENT (2)

Megachile campanulae @ CUIC_ENT (1)

Megachile centuncularis @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Megachile dentitarsus @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Megachile fortis @ AMNH_BEE (4)

Megachile frugalis @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Megachile inimica @ AMNH_BEE (4)

Megachile manifesta @ UCRC_ENT (2)

Megachile mendica @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Megachile montivaga @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Megachile mucorosa @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Megachile parallela @ AMNH_BEE (24); UCRC_ENT (4)

Megachile perihirta @ AMNH_BEE (1); UCRC_ENT (1)

Megachile petulans @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Megachile policaris @ AMNH_BEE (3)

Megachile pugnata @ CUIC_ENT (1)

Megachile relativa @ CUIC_ENT (1)

Megachile snowi @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Osmia coloradensis @ EMEC (1); LACM_ENTB (1)

Paranthidium jugatorium @ AMNH_BEE (1); CUIC_ENT (35)

Stelis louisae @ CUIC_ENT (1)

Trachusa zebrata @ AMNH_BEE (8)
Melittidae  Hesperapis carinata @ AMNH_BEE (62)
Membracidae  Publilia modesta @ CSUC_TCN (3); AMNH_ENT (1)

Spissistilus festinus @ UDCC_TCN (2)

Vanduzea segmentata @ UDCC_TCN (12); UDCC_NRI (5)
Miridae  Lygus elisus @ AMNH_IZC (43)

Lygus hesperus @ AMNH_PBI (1)

Poecilocapsus lineatus @ AMNH_ENT (5)

Reuteroscopus unknown @ AMNH_PBI (1)

Slaterocoris hirtus @ NCSU_ENT (6)
Mutillidae  Timulla @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Pentatomidae  Euschistus servus @ UCR_ENT (1)

Murgantia histrionica @ CSUC_TCN (1)
Reduviidae  Apiomerus @ AMNH_PBI (1)

Phymata americana @ UCR_ENT (6)

Phymata granulosa @ AMNH_PBI (7)

Phymata noualhieri @ AMNH_PBI (1)
Scenopinidae  Brevitrichia @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Thyreocoridae  Galgupha nitiduloides @ AMNH_IZC (1)
Tingidae  Corythucha morrilli @ AMNH_IZC (2)
Tiphiidae  Paratiphia neomexicana @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Trichiaceae  Metatrichia bulbosa @ UCRC_ENT (12)
_  Protaphis middletoni @ NCSU_ENT (3)

unknown unknown @ AMNH_PBI (19)

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Helianthus L.

Image of Helianthus

General Information
Symbol: HELIA3
Group: Dicot
Family: Asteraceae
Growth Habit :  
Native Status : AK   I
HI   I
L48   N
PR   I
Data Source and Documentation
About our new maps
Plants-NRCS Logos
green round image for nativity Native blue round image for introduced Introduced ocre round image for introduced and nativity Both white round image for no status Absent/Unreported
image for native, but no county data Native, No County Data image for introduced, but no county data Introduced, No County Data both introduced and native, but no county data Both, No County Data
Native Status:
lower 48 status L48    Alaska status AK    Hawaii status HI    Puerto Rico status PR    Virgin Islands status VI    Navassa Island NAV    Canada status CAN    Greenland status GL    Saint Pierre and Michelon status SPM    North America NA   


click on a thumbnail to view an image, or see all the Helianthus thumbnails at the Plants Gallery

©Thomas G. Barnes. Barnes, T.G., and S.W. Francis. 2004. Wildflowers and ferns of Kentucky . University Press of Kentucky. Usage Requirements .

Clarence A. Rechenthin. Provided by USDA NRCS East Texas PMC (ETPMC) . United States, TX, Lubbock vicinity, N.W. of city. Usage Requirements .




Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Asterales
Family Asteraceae ⁄ Compositae – Aster family
Genus Helianthus L. – sunflower

Subordinate Taxa

The Plants Database includes the following 62 species of Helianthus . Click below on a thumbnail map or name for species profiles. Plant is native (blue) Native Plant is introduced Introduced Plant is introduced Native and Introduced Related taxa legend Distribution of <i>
Helianthus agrestis</i>
Helianthus agrestis
southeastern sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus ×ambiguus</i>
(A. Gray) Britton (pro sp.) [<i>
divaricatus × giganteus</i>
Helianthus ×ambiguus [ divaricatus × giganteus ]
sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus angustifolius</i>
Helianthus angustifolius
swamp sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus annuus</i>
Helianthus annuus
common sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus anomalus</i>
S.F. Blake
Helianthus anomalus
western sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus argophyllus</i>
Torr. & A. Gray
Helianthus argophyllus
silverleaf sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus arizonensis</i>
R.C. Jacks.
Helianthus arizonensis
Arizona sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus atrorubens</i>
Helianthus atrorubens
purpledisk sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus bolanderi</i>
A. Gray
Helianthus bolanderi
serpentine sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus ×brevifolius</i>
E.E. Watson (pro sp.) [<i>
grosseserratus × mollis</i>
Helianthus ×brevifolius [ grosseserratus × mollis ]
shortleaf sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus californicus</i>
Helianthus californicus
California sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus carnosus</i>
Helianthus carnosus
lakeside sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus ciliaris</i>
Helianthus ciliaris
Texas blueweed Distribution of <i>
Helianthus ×cinereus</i>
Torr. & A. Gray (pro sp.) [<i>
mollis × occidentalis</i>
Helianthus ×cinereus [ mollis × occidentalis ]
sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus cusickii</i>
A. Gray
Helianthus cusickii
Cusick's sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus debilis</i>
Helianthus debilis
cucumberleaf sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus decapetalus</i>
Helianthus decapetalus
thinleaf sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus divaricatus</i>
Helianthus divaricatus
woodland sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus ×divariserratus</i>
R.W. Long [<i>
divaricatus × grosseserratus</i>
Helianthus ×divariserratus [ divaricatus × grosseserratus ]
sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus ×doronicoides</i>
Lam. (pro sp.) [<i>
giganteus × mollis</i>
Helianthus ×doronicoides [ giganteus × mollis ]
sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus eggertii</i>
Helianthus eggertii
Eggert's sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus floridanus</i>
A. Gray ex Chapm.
Helianthus floridanus
Florida sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus giganteus</i>
Helianthus giganteus
giant sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus glaucophyllus</i>
D.M. Sm.
Helianthus glaucophyllus
whiteleaf sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus ×glaucus</i>
Small (pro sp.) [<i>
divaricatus × microcephalus</i>
Helianthus ×glaucus [ divaricatus × microcephalus ]
sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus gracilentus</i>
A. Gray
Helianthus gracilentus
slender sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus grosseserratus</i>
M. Martens
Helianthus grosseserratus
sawtooth sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus heterophyllus</i>
Helianthus heterophyllus
variableleaf sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus hirsutus</i>
Helianthus hirsutus
hairy sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus ×intermedius</i>
R.W. Long [<i>
grosseserratus × maximiliani</i>
Helianthus ×intermedius [ grosseserratus × maximiliani ]
sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus ×kellermanii</i>
Britton (pro sp.) [<i>
grosseserratus × salicifolius</i>
Helianthus ×kellermanii [ grosseserratus × salicifolius ]
sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus laciniatus</i>
A. Gray
Helianthus laciniatus
alkali sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus ×laetiflorus</i>
Pers. (pro sp.) [<i>
pauciflorus × tuberosus</i>
Helianthus ×laetiflorus [ pauciflorus × tuberosus ]
cheerful sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus laevigatus</i>
Torr. & A. Gray
Helianthus laevigatus
smooth sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus longifolius</i>
Helianthus longifolius
longleaf sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus ×luxurians</i>
E.E. Watson (pro sp.) [<i>
giganteus × grosseserratus</i>
Helianthus ×luxurians [ giganteus × grosseserratus ]
sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus maximiliani</i>
Helianthus maximiliani
Maximilian sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus microcephalus</i>
Torr. & A. Gray
Helianthus microcephalus
small woodland sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus mollis</i>
Helianthus mollis
ashy sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus ×multiflorus</i>
L. (pro sp.) [<i>
annuus × decapetalus</i>
Helianthus ×multiflorus [ annuus × decapetalus ]
manyflower sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus neglectus</i>
Helianthus neglectus
neglected sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus niveus</i>
(Benth.) Brandegee
Helianthus niveus
showy sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus nuttallii</i>
Torr. & A. Gray
Helianthus nuttallii
Nuttall's sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus occidentalis</i>
Helianthus occidentalis
fewleaf sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus ×orgyaloides</i>
Cockerell (pro sp.) [<i>
maximiliani × salicifolius</i>
Helianthus ×orgyaloides [ maximiliani × salicifolius ]
sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus paradoxus</i>
Helianthus paradoxus
paradox sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus pauciflorus</i>
Helianthus pauciflorus
stiff sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus petiolaris</i>
Helianthus petiolaris
prairie sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus porteri</i>
(A. Gray) Pruski
Helianthus porteri
Porter's sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus praecox</i>
Engelm. & A. Gray
Helianthus praecox
Texas sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus praetermissus</i>
E.E. Watson
Helianthus praetermissus
New Mexico sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus pumilus</i>
Helianthus pumilus
little sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus radula</i>
(Pursh) Torr. & A. Gray
Helianthus radula
rayless sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus resinosus</i>
Helianthus resinosus
resindot sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus salicifolius</i>
A. Dietr.
Helianthus salicifolius
willowleaf sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus schweinitzii</i>
Torr. & A. Gray
Helianthus schweinitzii
Schweinitz's sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus silphioides</i>
Helianthus silphioides
rosinweed sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus simulans</i>
E.E. Watson
Helianthus simulans
muck sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus smithii</i>
Helianthus smithii
Smith's sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus strumosus</i>
Helianthus strumosus
paleleaf woodland sunflower Distribution of <i>
Helianthus tuberosus</i>
Helianthus tuberosus
Jerusalem artichoke Distribution of <i>
Helianthus verticillatus</i>
Helianthus verticillatus
whorled sunflower Plant is native (blue) Native Plant is introduced Introduced Plant is introduced Native and Introduced Related taxa legend

Legal Status

Wetland Status

Interpreting Wetland Status

Related Links

More Accounts and Images
CalPhotos (HELIA3)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (HELIA3)
Jepson Interchange (University of California - Berkeley) (HELIA3)



Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds
Martin Minor Minor Minor Low


Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds


Martin, A.C., H.S. Zim, and A.L. Nelson. 1951. American wildlife and plants: A guide to wildlife food habits . Dover Publications. New York.

Description of Values

Value Class Food Cover
High Average 25-50% of diet Regular source of cover
Low 5-10% of diet Infrequently used as cover
Minor 2-5% of diet Sparsely used as cover
Moderate Average 10-25% of diet Occasional source of cover

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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 21 | Asteraceae

299. Helianthus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 904. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 386. 1754.

Sunflower, tournesol [Greek helios , sun, and anthos , flower, alluding to heads]

Edward E. Schilling

Annuals or perennials, (5—)20—300(—500) cm. Stems erect or ascending to decumbent or pro-cumbent, usually branched distally. Leaves basal and/or cauline; opposite, or opposite (proximal) and alternate, or alternate; petiolate or sessile; blades usually 3-nerved (1-nerved in H. eggertii, H. smithii , and H. maximiliani ), mostly deltate, lance-linear, lanceolate, lance-ovate, linear, or ovate, bases cordate to narrowly cuneate, margins usually entire or serrate, rarely lobed, faces glabrous or hairy, often gland-dotted. Heads usually radiate (sometimes discoid in H. radula ), borne singly or in ± corymbiform, paniculiform, or spiciform arrays. Involucres usually ± hemispheric, sometimes campanulate or cylindric, 5—40+(—200+ in cultivars) mm diam. Phyllaries persistent, 11—40(—100+ in cultivars) in 2—3+ series (subequal to unequal). Receptacles flat to slightly convex (conic in H. porteri ), paleate (paleae ± conduplicate, usually rectangular-oblong, usually ± 3-toothed, sometimes entire, apices sometimes reddish or purplish). Ray florets usually 5—30+(—100+ in cultivars), rarely 0, neuter; corollas usually yellow. Disc florets (15—)30—150+(—1000+ in cultivars), bisexual, fertile; corollas yellow or reddish (at least distally), tubes shorter than campanulate throats, lobes 5, triangular (style branches slender, appendages ± attenuate). Cypselae (usually purplish black, sometimes mottled) ± obpyramidal, ± compressed (glabrous, glabrate, or ± hairy); pappi 0 ( H. porteri ), or readily falling, of 2(—3) usually lanceolate, aristate, or erose scales (at the 2 principal angles, 1—5 mm) plus 0—8 usually shorter scales (0.2—2 mm). x = 17.

Species 52, including 1 hybrid (52 in the flora): North America, Mexico; introduced in the Old World.

The identification of sunflower species has long been problematic. C. B. Heiser et al. (1969) felt that the greatest contribution of their sustained efforts to understand sunflower taxonomy was not providing an easy way to identify sunflowers but rather an explanation for why they are so difficult. Taxonomic difficulties are based on a combination of factors, notably developmental and ecologic plasticity, the frequency of interspecific hybridization, and the presence of polyploidy. L. H. Rieseberg (1991) and Rieseberg et al. (1988, 1990) have subsequently documented the presence of species of homoploid hybrid origin to add to the complexity. The keys in this treatment have been modified somewhat with observations of features that require microscopic observation, such as the distribution of glands (sometimes referred to as "resin dots") and the color of anther appendages; they still are based heavily on those of Heiser et al. There will still be specimens, of hybrid origin or growing in unusual conditions or incompletely collected, that defy certain placement into a single species. The taxonomic rank of certain taxa is also problematic, and for the most part the treatment of Heiser et al. has been followed, with relatively few exceptions. With the exception of Helianthus × laetiflorus , which is widespread and commonly encountered away from either parental species, hybrids are not treated as separate entities. Helianthus verticillatus has been verified as a distinct entity, unlikely to be simply a hybrid. Whether H. praetermissus E. Watson, which continues to be known only from a single fragmentary specimen, represents a distinct species or an anomalous collection is still uncertain; it has not been included here.


Heiser, C. B. 1976. The Sunflower. Norman. Heiser, C. B., D. M. Smith, S. Clevenger, and W. C. Martin. 1969. The North American sunflowers ( Helianthus ). Mem. Torrey Bot. Club 22(3). Rogers, C. E., T. E. Thompson, and G. J. Seiler. 1982. Sunflower Species of the United States. Fargo. Storbeck, T. A. 1984. A Taxonomic Study of Helianthus Series Microcephali and Allied Species. Ph.D. dissertation. Indiana University.

Updated: 2020-05-30 06:42:58 gmt
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