Helianthus strumosus L.
Paleleaf Woodland Sunflower, Paleleaf Sunflower, Woodland Sunflower
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
Synonym(s): Helianthus montanus, Helianthus saxicola
USDA Symbol: HEST
The stout, erect stem of pale-leaf woodland sunflower is branched toward the top and grows to 7 ft. tall. Narrow, oval leaves are up to 8 in. long and whitish underneath. Yellow flower heads on branches from a smooth or slightly rough main stem. Flower heads occur in loose clusters at branch tips. Each of the perennialís yellow flower heads is 2-4 in. across.
This is one of approximately 20 species of sunflowers with yellow disc flowers in eastern North America.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Size Notes: Up to about 7 feet tall.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , ON , QC
Native Distribution: ME & Ont. to MN, s. to GA & LA
Native Habitat: Dry, open, upland woods; woodland edges
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Dry soils.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Seed heads attract birds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Excellent germination occurs with seeds that have been refrigerated over winter. Stem cuttings can be taken before flowering, but the easiest method of increase in to divide the clump in early spring.
Seed Collection: Nutlets usually mature 2-3 weeks after flowering. To beat finched to the seeds, secure a small bag around seeds heads after the flowers fade. Air-dry collected seed heads, separate nutlets from chaff, and store in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Commercially Avail: yes
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July 21, 2008
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National Wetland Indicator Status
BibliographyBibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
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Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Research LiteratureReslit 1229 - Phylogenetic relationships in Helianthus (Asteraceae) based on nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer region sequence data (1998) E. E. Schilling, C. R. Linder, R. D. Noyes and L. ...
Reslit 1395 - Plant regeneration through anther culture and induced parthenogenesis in genus Helianthus (1997) M. Todorova, N. Nenova, P. Ivanov and M. Christov
Reslit 1466 - High regeneration potential in vitro of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) lines derived from interspecific hybridization (2000) S. Weber, R. Horn and W. Friedt
Reslit 2203 - Renewable resources from wild sunflowers (Helianthus spp., Asteraceae) (1991) G. J. Seiler, M. E. Carr and M. O. Bagby
Reslit 2368 - Host-parasite relations in the Gibberidea disease of Helianthus strumosus (1973) D. L. Mason
This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Helianthus strumosus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Helianthus strumosus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Helianthus strumosus
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-12-28
Research By: TWC Staff