Helianthus gracilentus A. Gray

Slender-Leaved Sunflower
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)


Slender-leaved sunflower is an erect, shrubby, herbaceous perennial with stems that are 3' to 6' tall, sometimes purplish, and covered with rough, stiff hairs.  The leaves are opposite (or the upper alternate), deltoid to lanceolate, entire or with few teeth, and 1-1/4" to 5" long on short petioles.  The flowering heads are radiate, solitary on long stems, typically showy with 13-21 yellow ligulate flowers and a red-purple to yellow center of many disk flowers.  The phyllaries are ± ovate, acuminate-tipped, somewhat imbricated, and densely hispidulous-puberulent.  The fruit is a glabrous achene about 3/8" long with a pappus of two awns that are readily deciduous.  This conspicuous sunflower is found on dry slopes, fields and openings in chaparral and along roadsides below about 6000', blooming from May to October.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Helianthus 2) gracilentus.
Pronunciation: hee-lee-AN-thus GRAS-i-len-tus.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.


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