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

 Native Plant Database

Eriophyllum lanatum

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: 2016-02-17