Thin-Leaved Sunflower, Helianthus hirsutus
(Also called H. decapetalus)
Asteraceae or Sunflower Family


Tall sunflower, to 5 or more feet tall. Flowerheads about 2 to 4 inches wide, with about 8 to 15 yellow rays, and a cluster of darker yellow disc flowers. Green bracts behind flowerhead long-ponted. Stems smooth or a little rough. Leaves mostly opposite each other, egg-shaped to narrow, pointed and coarsely toothed, relatively thin for a sunflower. Blooms in late summer to fall.

A handsome native. In Wildwood, occasional mixed in with the other yellow sunflower-like species so common in the summer and fall. Especially common in the Great South Meadow.

The many yellow sunflower-like species in the Park are not easy to tell apart. Pale-leaved sunflower (H. strumosus) is very similar but has narrower and thicker leaves. Small woodland sunflower (H. microcephalus) prefers woods and has narrow leaves and usually fewer rays. Jerusalem artichoke (H. tuberosus) is usually bigger, with thicker leaves, and is very rough hairy. Oxeye or false sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides) has long leafstalks, all leaves opposite, and a tiny pistil in each ray flower.



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