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.
The rays are lost in winter, of course. The heads expand a bit as the seeds mature.
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.
This species forms colonies that can become several feet across.