Helianthus strumosus

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Helianthus strumosus
Helianthus strumosus 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. strumosus
Binomial name
Helianthus strumosus
HELI STRU dist.jpg
Natural range of Helianthus strumosus from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: paleleaf woodland sunflower; roughleaf sunflower

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: none[1]

Varieties: Helianthus montanus E.E. Watson; H. saxicolus[1]


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

Helianthus strumosus is a perennial herbaceous species. It is colonial, with perennating rhizomes. This species also tends to be a taller species, with stems up to two meters long.[2]


The distribution of this plant ranges from Maine, west to Minnesota and Kansas, and south to Panhandle Florida and Texas.[1]



H. strumosus occurs in drier, well-drained uplands, including sandy ridges, shaly slopes of oak-pine woods, crests of limestone bluffs, prairie over chalk, pine woodlands, and rocky embankments.[2] It also seems to prefer higher light conditions, occurring in clearings and edges of woodlands, and other open, sunny locations. In addition to more rocky soils, it can be found in sandy silt, sandy clay, or sandy loam. This species also occurs in disturbed habitat, including roadsides, power line corridors, and semi-cleared woodlands. Associated species include Longeleaf pine and Oak species.[2]


Helianthus strumosus has been observed flowering in August[3]. Fruiting has been observed in July and August.[2]

Fire ecology

This species has been found in annually burned pine woodlands[2] such as the Wade Tract in south Georgia where populations of Helianthus strumosus have been known to persist through repeated annual burns.[4]


Helianthus strumosus has been observed to host ground-nesting bees such as Andrena aliciae (family Andrenidae), bees such as Melissodes illata (family Apidae), and aphids from the family Aphididae such as Aphis sp. and Uroleucon sp..[5]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Native Americans used the ground plants in baking, and they used the seeds as a decongestant and crushed roots on bruises.[6]

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 2.4 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: John B. Nelson, S. Bennett, John W. Thieret, H. R. Bennett, Robert Kral, Mabel Kral, D. S. Correll, H. E. Ahles, J. A. Duke, G. W. Parmelee, Mary E. Wharton, Robert F. Thorne, Scott McCoy, R. Kral, Delzie Demaree, Martha Lee, Dan Pittillo, _ Anderson, Tom S. Cooperrider, Norlan C. Henderson, Sidney McDaniel, Michael B. Brooks, Valerie Lumpkin, Kent D. Perkins, Fred Neal, R.K. Godfrey, Douglas Gage, D. S. Correll, R. A. Norris, Angela M. Reid, K. M. Robertson, and Loran C. Anderson. States and Counties: Arkansas: Phillips. Florida: Alachua, Leon, Liberty, and Madison. Georgia: Clarke. Illinois: Cook. Indiana: Newton. Iowa: Dickinson and Jones. Kentucky: Rockcastle. Louisiana: Bienville, Jackson, Natchitoches, Sabine, and Washington. Maryland: Baltimore. Michigan: Oakland. Mississippi: Chickasaw, Forrest, and Oktibbeha. Missouri: Jackson. North Carolina: Iredell and Macon. South Carolina: Sumter and Union. Tennessee: Wayne. Texas: Upshur. Virginia: Alleghany and Giles.
  3. 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: 19 MAY 2021
  4. Glitzenstein, J. S., D. R. Streng, R. E. Masters, K. M. Robertson and S. M. Hermann 2012. Fire-frequency effects on vegetation in north Florida pinelands: Another look at the long-term Stoddard Fire Research Plots at Tall Timbers Research Station. Forest Ecology and Management 264: 197-209.
  5. Discoverlife.org [1]
  6. Korchmal, Arnold & Connie. 1973. A Guide to the Medicinal Plants of the United States. The New York Times Book Company, New York.