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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Eriophyllum lanatum (Common woolly sunflower)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Eriophyllum lanatum

Eriophyllum lanatum (Pursh) Forbes

Common Woolly Sunflower, Oregon Sunshine

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: erla6

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

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 4-40 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 plant's white hairs, by reflecting heat and reducing air movement across the leaf's surface, conserve water.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 40 inches tall, often shorter.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , 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

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Propagate by seed or cuttings.
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Eriophyllum lanatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Eriophyllum lanatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Eriophyllum lanatum


Record Modified: 2022-12-26
Research By: TWC Staff

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