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Helianthus divaricatus

Helianthus divaricatus L.

Helianthus divaricatus L. var. angustifolius Kuntze

Woodland Sunflower

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderAsteralesFlowering plants with a central disk flower and surrounding petals, like daisies
FamilyAsteraceaeThe aster family, which also includes daisies and sunflowers; from the Greek ἀστήρ, “star,” for the star-shaped flowers
GenusHelianthusFrom Greek helios, “sun,” and anthos, “flower,” because it was believed that sunflowers turn to follow the sun
SpeciesdivaricatusLatin for “divergent, spreading”

About plant names...

Woodland sunflowers are native to North America, a common sight in woodlands that are sparse enough to let in partial sunlight.

Identification: Plants are 24-72" (60-182 cm) high. Bright yellow flowers with 8-15 petals and darker yellow centers, up to 2" (5 cm) across, sit atop long thin stems. Leaves are long and usually narrow, wider at the base, tapering to sharp tips, 3-8" (7.6-20 cm) long. The rough stiff leaves feel almost sandpapery above, and hairy below. Stems are smooth, purple or green. These sunflowers spread via their root systems, producing large colonies over time.

Online References:

Helianthus divaricatus on Southeastern Flora, the Southeastern U.S. Plant Identification Resource

Helianthus divaricatus at Illinois Wildflowers

Helianthus divaricatus on Missouriplants.com

Helianthus divaricatus at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Helianthus divaricatus on Erv Evans' site at the North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Helianthus divaricatus at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Helianthus divaricatus at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Helianthus divaricatus on eFloras

Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower)

8/20/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm)

Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower)

8/20/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm)

Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower)

8/10/2013 · Stone Arch Bridge Trail, Near Flat Rock Hill, Dunstable, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (16 × 11 cm)

Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower)

8/6/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower)

8/10/2013 · Stone Arch Bridge Trail, Near Flat Rock Hill, Dunstable, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Helianthus divaricatus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 9 Oct 2013.

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Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower)

8/20/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.9 cm)

Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower)

8/10/2013 · Stone Arch Bridge Trail, Near Flat Rock Hill, Dunstable, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (16 × 10 cm)

Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower)

8/8/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 31 × 21" (78 × 52 cm) ID is uncertain

Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower)

8/14/2010 · Nashua River Boat Ramp, Rte. 119, Groton, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower)

8/14/2010 · Nashua River Boat Ramp, Rte. 119, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower)

8/14/2010 · Nashua River Boat Ramp, Rte. 119, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm)

Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower)

8/20/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower)

8/20/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower)

8/8/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Range: Zones 3-8:

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