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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This perennial wildflower is 2½-6' tall with a central stem that becomes branched where the flowerheads occur. This stem is light green to dark purple, slender, terete (round in cross-section), glabrous to sparsely covered with short stiff hairs, and sometimes glaucous. Upper secondary stems have similar characteristics. Pairs of widely spreading opposite leaves occur along the central stem and any secondary stems; each pair of leaves rotates 90° from the pair of leaves below. Leaf blades are 2-6" long and ½-2" across; they are lanceolate-oblong to ovate-oblong in shape, and either toothless or with widely spaced teeth along their short-ciliate margins. The base of each leaf blade is rounded-truncate, while its tip is long and gradually tapering. The upper surface of the leaf blades is yellowish green to medium green and sparsely to moderately covered with short stiff hairs, while the pale lower surface is short-pubescent, especially along the major veins. Three prominent veins join together at the base of each leaf blade. The leaves are sessile or they have short ascending petioles (about 1/8" long). The central and secondary stems terminate in flowerheads on slender peduncles. Individual flowerheads are 1½-3" across, consisting of 8-15 ray florets that surround numerous disk florets. The yellow corollas of the ray florets are petal-like and widely spreading.. The yellow corollas of the disk florets are narrowly tubular (1/8" long or less) with 5 spreading lobes. At the base of each flowerhead, there are light green phyllaries (floral bracts) that are arranged in several overlapping series. Individual phyllaries are linear-lanceolate and ciliate along their margins; the outer phyllaries are widely spreading or recurved when the flowerheads bloom. The peduncles of the flowerheads resemble the stems, except they are more likely to have short stiff hairs. The blooming period occurs from mid-summer to early fall for about 2 months. Afterwards, the disk florets are replaced by achenes about 2 mm. long; these achenes are ovoid-oblongoid and somewhat flattened. At the apex of each achene, there is a pair of tiny chaffy scales that easily become detached. The root system is long-rhizomatous. Vegetative colonies of plants are often formed by the rhizomes.
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Woodland Sunflower is common in NE and SE Illinois, while in the rest of the state it is occasional. Habitats include upland rocky woodlands, sandy woodlands, thinly wooded bluffs, upland savannas and sandy savannas, woodland borders, sandy and non-sandy thickets, limestone glades, hill prairies, and moist to dry-mesic sand prairies. While this sunflower is normally found in relatively dry upland habitats, sometimes it also occurs in moist sandy habitats. Occasional wildfires tend to increase populations of Woodland Sunflower as this reduces competition from woody vegetation.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Helianthus divaricatus var. divaricatus :
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Helianthus divaricatus var. angustifolius Kuntze:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Helianthus divaricatus L.:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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USA: AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , IA , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MS , MO , NH , NJ , NY , NC , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , VT , VA , WV , WI , DC (NPIN, 2009)

Canada: ON , QC (NPIN, 2009)

USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N) (NPIN, 2009)

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Perennials, 20–150 cm (rhizomatous) . Stems erect, usually glabrous , rarely ± hairy (often glaucous). Leaves cauline; opposite; sessile; blades (light to dark green, sometimes whitish abaxially, 3-nerved at bases) lanceolate to lance-ovate, 6–15 × 1–5 cm, bases rounded to cordate, margins subentire to serrate, abaxial faces sparsely hispid to hispidulous, gland-dotted. Heads 1–10. Peduncles 0.5–9 cm. Involucres hemispheric, 10–15 mm diam. Phyllaries 18–25, lanceolate, lance-linear, or lance-ovate, 6–12 × 2–2.5 mm, (margins ciliate) apices acuminate to attenuate, abaxial faces hispidulous to glabrate, not gland-dotted. Paleae 5–8 mm, 3-toothed (apices ciliate). Ray florets 8–12; laminae 15–30 mm. Disc florets 40+; corollas 4.2–5.5 mm, lobes yellow; anthers usually dark brown to black, appendages yellow. Cypselae 3–3.6 mm, glabrate; pappi of 2 aristate scales 2.2–2.5 mm. 2n = 34.
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Overall This is an erect plant. (UW, 2009)

Flowers are yellow. This is a daisy-like flower is made up of many petal-like rays. (Hultman, 1978) Flowers have 8-15 yellow rays and a yellow disk. Inflorescence (cymose) one to several heads at the ends of the stiff branches, bracts (phyllaries) loosely arranged and often with reflexed tips. (UW, 2009)

Fruit is a capsule. (NPIN, 2009)

Leaves Thick, slender leaves are rough on top and hairy underneath. They are attached in pairs by short stalks. (Hultman, 1978) Leaves are all opposite and usually stalkless or on a very short stalk. They are rough above, sparsely hairy below, and narrowly to widely lance-like. The base is straight to broadly rounded, and the leaf ends in a sharp tip. (UW, 2009)

Stems are smooth. (Hultman, 1978) Stems are smooth below the inflorescence. (NPIN, 2009)

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Size

Plant is 2-6.5' tall. (Hultman, 1978) The plant is 20"-60" tall. (UW, 2009)

Flowers head is 1 1/2"-3" wide. (UW, 2009)

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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Woodland Sunflower is common in NE and SE Illinois, while in the rest of the state it is occasional. Habitats include upland rocky woodlands, sandy woodlands, thinly wooded bluffs, upland savannas and sandy savannas, woodland borders, sandy and non-sandy thickets, limestone glades, hill prairies, and moist to dry-mesic sand prairies. While this sunflower is normally found in relatively dry upland habitats, sometimes it also occurs in moist sandy habitats. Occasional wildfires tend to increase populations of Woodland Sunflower as this reduces competition from woody vegetation.
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Habitat is dry thickets and open woods. (Hultman, 1978) Native habitat comprises woodland, savannah, and rocky bluff. (NPIN, 2009) This plant inhabits dry woods and open places. (UW, 2009)
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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Woodland Sunflower in Illinois

Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower)
(Bees suck nectar or collect pollen; other insects suck nectar, except for flies that feed on pollen, as indicated below; observations are from Robertson, except for the observations from Grundel & Pavlovic, Herms, and Krombein et al. as indicated below)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus fraternus sn cp, Bombus griseocallis sn, Bombus pensylvanica sn fq; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla sn cp; Anthophoridae (Epeolini): Epeolus autumnalis sn fq, Epeolus bifasciatus sn, Epeolus pusillus sn, Triepeolus concavus sn, Triepeolus cressonii cressonii sn fq, Triepeolus donatus sn fq, Triepeolus lunatus concolor sn fq, Triepeolus nevadensis sn, Triepeolus remigatus sn, Triepeolus simplex sn; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Melissodes agilis sn cp olg, Melissodes boltoniae sn cp, Melissodes coloradensis sn cp fq, Melissodes denticulata sn, Melissodes dentiventris sn cp fq, Melissodes nivea sn cp fq, Melissodes rustica sn, Melissodes trinodis sn cp fq, Svastra obliqua obliqua sn cp fq; Megachilidae (Coelioxini): Coelioxys alternata alternata sn, Coelioxys germana sn, Coelioxys octodentata sn, Coelioxys sayi sn; Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile brevis brevis sn, Megachile inimica sayi sn cp fq, Megachile latimanus sn cp, Megachile mendica sn, Megachile parallela parallela sn cp, Megachile petulans sn cp fq, Megachile pugnatus sn cp

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Dufoureinae): Dufourea marginatus sn cp fq olg; Halictidae (Halictinae): Augochlorella striata sn cp fq, Halictus ligatus sn cp fq, Lasioglossum illinoensis sn, Lasioglossum pectoralis cp fq, Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus sn cp, Lasioglossum versatus sn; Colletidae (Colletinae): Colletes americana sn; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena accepta sn cp fq olg (Rb, Kr), Andrena aliciae cp olg (Kr), Andrena helianthi sn cp olg (Rb, Kr); Andrenidae (Panurginae): Heterosarus albitarsis sn cp fq, Heterosarus labrosiformis labrosiformis sn cp fq, Heterosarus labrosus sn cp fq, Heterosarus rudbeckiae sn, Pseudopanurgus rugosus sn cp fq olg (Rb, Kr)

Wasps
Sphecidae (Bembicinae): Glenostictia pictifrons; Sphecidae (Philanthinae): Cerceris rufinoda; Sphecidae (Sphecinae): Ammophila nigricans; Vespidae (Eumeninae): Euodynerus annulatus

Flies
Syrphidae: Eristalis transversus sn, Milesia virginiensis fp np; Bombyliidae: Exoprosopa decora sn, Paravilla palliata sn, Poecilanthrax alcyon sn, Sparnopolius confusus sn fq, Systoechus vulgaris sn, Villa alternata fp np; Conopidae: Robertsonomyia palpalis sn fq icp; Anthomyiidae: Proboscimyia siphonina sn; Milichiidae: Eusiphona mira sn

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Chlosyne nycteis; Lycaenidae: Lycaeides melissa samuelis (GP, Hm); Pieridae: Colias philodice, Phoebis sennae

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Polites themistocles

Beetles
Cantharidae: Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus fq

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Faunal Associations

The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract a wide variety of insects. The following bees are specialist pollinators (oligoleges) of Woodland Sunflower and other sunflowers
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This plant attracts birds. (NPIN, 2009)
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Blooming occurs July-October. (Hultman, 1978) The plant blooms July-September. (UW, 2009)
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Life Expectancy

This is a perennial. (NPIN, 2009)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Helianthus divaricatus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state. Common names are from state and federal lists. In Rhode Island woodland sunflower is listed as Special Concern. (USDA PLANTS, 2009)
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full or partial sun, moist to dry-mesic conditions, and soil that is loamy, sandy, or rocky. This wildflower is easy to cultivate, although it may spread aggressively.
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Wikipedia

Helianthus divaricatus

Helianthus divaricatus, commonly known as the woodland sunflower or rough woodland sunflower,[2] is a perennial herb in the composite family. It is native to eastern North America, from Ontario and Quebec in the north, south to Florida and west to Oklahoma and Iowa.

Helanthus divaricatus commonly occurs in dry, relatively open sites. The showy yellow flowers emerge in summer through early fall.[3]

The woodland sunflower is similar to Helianthus hirsutus, but its stem is rough. It is up to 1.5 m tall with short stalked, lancelet to oval leaves, 1–8 cm wide with toothed margins. Its flowers have 8 to 15 rays, 1.5 to 3 cm long with an orange or yellowish brown central disk.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Helianthus divaricatus". NatureServe Explorer. NatureServe. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  2. ^ a b Dickinson, T.; Metsger, D.; Bull, J.; & Dickinson, R. (2004) ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario. Toronto:Royal Ontario Museum, p. 170.
  3. ^ Schilling, Edward E. (2006). "Helianthus divaricatus". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America 21. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 157 
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Notes

Comments

One of the earlier flowering perennial Helianthus, H. divaricatus resembles the tetraploid H. hirsutus but differs by its usually glabrous and often glaucous stems, sessile or subsessile leaves, and smaller reproductive organs (disc corollas, paleae, cypselae). Plants from the Ozark region of Arkansas have larger leaves and heads and may represent a polyploid form of H. divaricatus. Natural hybrids with H. microcephalus have been named H. glaucus Small (D. M. Smith and A. T. Guard 1958). Hybrids with other species differ from H. divaricatus in having short but distinct petioles, hairy stems, leaves with more rounded bases, and primary lateral leaf veins diverging in a subopposite manner distal to bases, rather than being strictly opposite and basal.
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