western sunflower

(Helianthus occidentalis ssp. occidentalis)

Conservation Status

 

No image available

 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Western sunflower is a 2 to 5 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises from a rhizome.

The stems are erect, often reddish, and hairy near the bottom, hairless above.

The leaves are mostly basal. The basal leaves are egg-shaped to lance shaped, 2 to 8 long, to 2¾ wide, and taper gradually to a point. They are on stalks 1 to 4 long. The bases are wedge shaped and narrowly triangular and taper to a point. The margins are untoothed or weakly toothed. There are 3 to 8 pairs of opposite stem leaves. Stem leaves are much smaller and have untoothed margins. Basal and stem leaves are rough to the touch.

The inflorescence is several flower heads in loosely-branched clusters at the ends of the stems.

The flower head is 1½ to 2¾ wide and has 8 to 14, yellow ray florets. The underside of the rays are densely dotted with glands. The disk is cone-shaped, to wide, and has 50 or more yellow disk florets.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

2 to 5

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Yellow ray florets, yellow disk florets.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

 

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Dry to moderate moisture. Prairies. Full sun.

 
     
 
Ecology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

July to September

 
     
 

Pests and Diseases

 
 

Sunflower bullet gall midge (Pilodiplosis helianthibulla) makes ¼ in diameter, almost globe-shaped galls on the leaves of plants in the genus Helianthus.

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 29, 30.

 
  7/28/2023      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  
 

Order

Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  
 

Family

Asteraceae (sunflowers, daisies, asters, and allies)  
  Subfamily Asteroideae  
  Supertribe Helianthodae  
  Tribe Heliantheae (sunflowers and allies)  
  Subtribe Helianthinae  
  Genus Helianthus (sunflowers)  
  Species Helianthus occidentalis (fewleaf sunflower)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Helianthus dowellianus

Helianthus occidentalis var. dowellianus

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

fewleaf sunflower

few-leaved sunflower

naked-stemmed sunflower

western sunflower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Opposite

Arranged directly across the stem from each other at the same node.

 
 
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