Helianthus occidentalis
(Western Sunflower)

Other pictures of this plant:

               Seedpod                                           Leaf                                            Stem                                        Seed                                          Habit

Facts About this Plant:

    Common Names: Western Sunflower, Naked-stemmed Sunflower, Fewleaf Sunflower
    Lifespan: Perennial
    Zones: 4 - 8
    Type: Forb
    Bloom Time: June - September
    Status: Native

Helianthus occidentalis, or Western Sunflower, is native to most of the eastern United States. It grows in dry fields, prairies, open woods and on woodland edges, often in sandy soil. It blooms in mid to late summer with bright yellow flowers.

Although sunflowers - Helianthus - are a very trick genus, this particular species is rather easily identified by its short stature of only two to three feet, and the fact that it only has basal leaves - that is, leaves only at the base of the plant - and a flowering stem. The leaves, if present at all on the flowering stem, are small and subtle. The basal leaves are rather rough, with almost a sandpaper feel, although this is true for several other Helianthus species as well.

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