Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Fewleaf Sunflower - Helianthus occidentalis ssp. occidentalis   Riddell
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Helianthus with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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AuthorRiddell
DistributionMountains only. Specimens are known from 2 counties: Buncombe Co., "banks of the French Broad River near Biltmore" and Macon Co., "near Franklin" and "roadside, 7 miles north of Franklin." A specimen from Burke Co. is from the South Mountains; its ID needs checking at DUKE. A specimen at PH is actually H. atrorubens from Salem, NC.

MD to MN, south to northern GA and TX; disjunct to panhandle of FL.
AbundanceLong historical in NC, such that the NCNHP has considered it as extirpated (SX). It is State-listed as Special Concern - Historical.
HabitatRiverside scour zone, open roadside. This is primarily a Midwestern "prairie plant", though it can occur in damp ground, such as along open riversides.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July-October.
IdentificationPlants typically grow 2-4 feet tall, from rhizomes. Basal and lower leaves are broadly ovate and taper to a long leafstalk; the leaf margins are bluntly toothed. Middle and upper stem leaves are smaller and narrower. There usually are a few to several heads. The quite long leafstalks on the basal leaves are an important field character, along with the very few and quite small stem leaves.
Taxonomic CommentsA synonym is H. dowellianus M.A. Curtis, by some treated as a variety. Note that the taxon found in NC is the nominate variety.

Other Common Name(s)
State RankSX [SH]
Global RankG5T5
State StatusSC-H
US Status
USACE-agcp
USACE-emp
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