Helianthus heterophyllus

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Helianthus heterophyllus
Helianthus heterophyllus Gil.jpg
Photo was taken by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae ⁄ Compositae
Genus: Helianthus
Species: H. heterophyllus
Binomial name
Helianthus heterophyllus
HELI HETE dist.jpg
Natural range of Helianthus heterophyllus from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: variableleaf sunflower; wetland sunflower; savanna sunflower

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: none[1]

Varieties: none[1]


A description of Helianthus heterophyllus is provided in The Flora of North America.

Helianthus heterophyllus is a perennial herbaceous species.


This plant is a southeastern Coastal Plain endemic. It occurs from southeastern North Carolina, south to Panhandle Florida, and west to southeastern Louisiana.[1]



H. heterophyllus tends to grow on moist sandy soils at lower elevations.[2] It is commonly found on sand, loamy sand, sandy peat, sandy clay, and Lynchburg soils (Aeric Paleaquults). It can be found in natural communities such as wiregrass savannas, pine flatwoods, grass-sedge bogs, low hillside seepage bogs with wiregrass and Sarracenia, Sphagnum ditches, and pine-saw palmetto flatwoods. This species also occurs in disturbed habitat including roadsides, ditches, disturbed pineland, old fields, pine plantations, and clobbered pine fields. Associated species include Pinus palutris, Aristida stricta, Sarracenia, Pinus elliottii, Serenoa repens, Helianthus radula, Bigelowia, Liatris, Marshallia, Eupatorium, Diodia virginiana, Euthamia minor, Pteridium aquilnum, Solidago fistulosa, and Agalinis fasciulata.[2]

Helianthus heterophyllus is an indicator species for the Lower Panhandle Savannas community type as described in Carr et al. (2010).[3]


H. heterophyllus has been observed to flower in January, July, September, October, and December.[2][4]

Fire ecology

This species occurs in habitat that is maintained by fire.[2]


This species has been observed to host leafcutting bees such as Megachile xylocopoides (family Megachilidae).[5]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Wilson Baker, Ann F. Johnson, R. Kral, R.K. Godfrey, John Morrill, Jean W. Wooten, Robert A. Norris, Sidney McDaniel, Steve L. Orzell, Edwin L. Bridges, Nancy E. Jordan, Harry E. Ahles, Joseph Ewan, J R Massey, W. Thomas, Victoria I. Sullivan, S. W. Leonard, A. E. Radford, Samuel B. Jones, Jr., O. M. Freeman, Michael B. Brooks, Almut G. Jones, and Robert L. Lazor. States and Counties: Alabama: Baldwin, Conecuh, and Mobile. Florida: Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gulf, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, and Washington. Louisiana: St Tammany and Washington. Mississippi: Forrest, Harrison, and Jackson. North Carolina: Columbus and Robeson. South Carolina: Horry.
  3. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  4. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. www.gilnelson.com/PanFlora/ Accessed: 12 DEC 2016
  5. Discoverlife.org [1]