Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Eriophyllum lanatum

Common woolly sunflower, Common woolly-sunflower, Oregon sunshine

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Eriophyllum lanatum (Common woolly sunflower)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
This is an exceedingly variable species with many different varieties. A grayish, woolly, leafy plant with several branched stems ending in short leafless stalks and golden-yellow flower heads. Plants may be erect or sprawling and from 4-18 in. in height. All grow as open, mounds with multiple, spreading branches; white-woolly, lobed leaves; and large (2 in.) yellow, sunflower-like flowers solitary at the ends of stems. It is a shrubby perennial with a woody base.

This common and variable species often colors banks along roads with a blaze of yellow in drier portions of the West. The plants white hairs, by reflecting heat and reducing air movement across the leafs surface, conserve water.

Image Gallery:

2 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: CA , ID , MT , NV , OR , UT , WA , WY
Canada: BC
Native Distribution: S. CA (more common northward) to B.C., e. to Rocky Mts. & Great Basin. Formerly also on Guadalupe Island off Baja California, Mexico.
Native Habitat: Open or brushy, dry areas to moist, shady banks

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, sandy soil.
Conditions Comments: For best results, plant in groups and prune the dead branches. Because the species is so variable, it is especially important to choose material from a habitat that matches your site.


Use Wildlife: Butterflies - attracts orange sulfur, red admiral, comma, and skipper butterflies
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Last Update: 2007-01-01