Hispid Sunflower in Winter

by Carl Strang

Our wild sunflowers are composites that mostly are perennials with flower heads somewhat reminiscent of, but much smaller than, those of the annual garden sunflower. The hispid sunflower grows in savannas to open woodlands.

As you can see, the disk portion of the head is minuscule compared to that of the garden species.

As you can see, the disk portion of the head is minuscule compared to that of the garden species.

The rays are lost in winter, of course. The heads expand a bit as the seeds mature.

The heads remain less than an inch across.

The heads remain less than an inch across.

Note the curling, narrowly pointed bracts on the undersides of the heads. The sandpapery roughness of the upper stem is just visible on the far right one.

A few of the opposite leaves are retained.

A few of the opposite leaves are retained.

This species forms colonies that can become several feet across.

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