Helianthus pauciflorus Nutt.
Family - Asteraceae
Stem - Solitary, erect, to 1.5 m, roughened with short, stiff, pustular-based hairs.
Leaf - Mostly opposite, sessile or with poorly differentiated petiole. Blades lanceolate, to 25 cm long, thick-textured, +/- flat, tapered at base, pointed at tip, with margins finely toothed to nearly entire. Surfaces strongly roughened with minute, stout, pustular-based hairs, also bearing sessile glands. Blades with 3 main veins, diverging well above base.
Involucre - To 20 mm long, shorter than tips of disk corollas. Bracts in 3-4 unequal, overlapping series, tightly appressed, pointed at tip, margins with fringe of hairs, surfaes mostly glabrous.
Florets - Ray florets 10-21, sterile, with corollas 2.0-3.5 cm long, yellow. Disk florets with corollas 6.0-7.5 mm long, reddish brown to deep purple. Pappus of 2 scales 4-5 mm long, sometimes also with 2-8 additional minute scales.
Flowering - August - October.
Habitat - Upland prairies, glades, openings in upland forests.
Origin - Native to the U.S.
Other info. - This species is found in scattered locations around the state, but is uncommon
in the Ozark and Mississippi Lowlands Divisions. It is fairly easily recognized by the combination of dark-centered flowering heads and
narrow, opposite leaves. Two subspecies are recognized in Missouri: ssp. pauciflorus (more common)
and ssp. subrhomboideus (relatively uncommon). These are differentiated by overall plant size, leaf arrangement at apex of plant,
and leaf size and shape.
Photographs taken at Victoria Glade Conservation Area, Jefferson County, MO, 8-25-2015 (SRTurner).