North Carolina Wildflowers, Shrubs, & Trees

by Jeffrey S. Pippen | Back to Jeff's Plant Page | Jeff's Nature Pages


Asteraceae > Helianthus (sunflowers)

Variableleaf Sunflower, Savannah Sunflower (Helianthus heterophyllus) Variableleaf Sunflower, Savannah Sunflower (Helianthus heterophyllus)
Craven Co., NC
27 Aug 2006

Uncommon to fairly rare in wet pine savannas, seepage bogs, etc. in the NC coastal plain.

Variableleaf Sunflower, Savannah Sunflower (Helianthus heterophyllus) Variableleaf Sunflower, Savannah Sunflower (Helianthus heterophyllus)
Craven Co., NC
27 Aug 2006
Variableleaf Sunflower, Savannah Sunflower (Helianthus heterophyllus) Variableleaf Sunflower, Savannah Sunflower (Helianthus heterophyllus)
Craven Co., NC
27 Aug 2006

Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus) Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus)
Dirt roadside edge along mixed woods in Korstian Division, Duke Forest, Orange Co., NC
10 July 2013

Common in the mountains and piedmont of North Carolina (rare in the coastal plain).

Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus) Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus)
Dirt roadside edge along mixed woods in Korstian Division, Duke Forest, Orange Co., NC
10 July 2013

Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus) Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus)
Dirt roadside edge along mixed woods in Korstian Division, Duke Forest, Orange Co., NC
10 July 2013

Close up of disc flowers

Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus) Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus)
Dirt roadside edge along mixed woods in Korstian Division, Duke Forest, Orange Co., NC
10 July 2013

Leaves are opposite and sessile. Stems below the inflorescence are smooth and glaucous.

Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus) Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus)
Dirt roadside edge along mixed woods in Korstian Division, Duke Forest, Orange Co., NC
10 July 2013


Purpledisk Sunflower, Appalachian Sunflower (Helianthus atrorubens) Purpledisk Sunflower, Appalachian Sunflower (Helianthus atrorubens)
Harnett Co., NC
3 Sep 2006

Common statewide along dry roadsides and woodland edges.

Purpledisk Sunflower, Appalachian Sunflower (Helianthus atrorubens) Purpledisk Sunflower, Appalachian Sunflower (Helianthus atrorubens)
Harnett Co., NC
3 Sep 2006
Purpledisk Sunflower, Appalachian Sunflower (Helianthus atrorubens) Purpledisk Sunflower, Appalachian Sunflower (Helianthus atrorubens)
Harnett Co., NC
3 Sep 2006
Purpledisk Sunflower, Appalachian Sunflower (Helianthus atrorubens) Purpledisk Sunflower, Appalachian Sunflower (Helianthus atrorubens)
Harnett Co., NC
3 Sep 2006
Purpledisk Sunflower, Appalachian Sunflower (Helianthus atrorubens) Purpledisk Sunflower, Appalachian Sunflower (Helianthus atrorubens)
Harnett Co., NC
3 Sep 2006

Giant Sunflower, Swamp Sunflower, Tuberous Sunflower (Helianthus giganteus) Giant Sunflower, Swamp Sunflower, Tuberous Sunflower (Helianthus giganteus)
Granville Co., NC
10 Sep 2006

Widespread and uncommon to locally abundant in NC, this tall pale sunflower grows in moist soils.

Giant Sunflower, Swamp Sunflower, Tuberous Sunflower (Helianthus giganteus) Giant Sunflower, Swamp Sunflower, Tuberous Sunflower (Helianthus giganteus)
Granville Co., NC
10 Sep 2006

Giant Sunflower, Swamp Sunflower, Tuberous Sunflower (Helianthus giganteus) Giant Sunflower, Swamp Sunflower, Tuberous Sunflower (Helianthus giganteus)
Granville Co., NC
10 Sep 2006

Giant Sunflower, Swamp Sunflower, Tuberous Sunflower (Helianthus giganteus) Giant Sunflower, Swamp Sunflower, Tuberous Sunflower (Helianthus giganteus)
Granville Co., NC
10 Sep 2006


Whiteleaf Sunflower (Helianthus glaucophyllus) Whiteleaf Sunflower (Helianthus glaucophyllus)
McDowell Co., NC
13 Sep 2008

Rare in North Carolina (NC Watch List), this plant grows at mid elevations, for example along roadside edges in the escarpment between the mountains and the piedmont.

Whiteleaf Sunflower (Helianthus glaucophyllus) Whiteleaf Sunflower (Helianthus glaucophyllus)
McDowell Co., NC
13 Sep 2008

Usually 5 to 8 ray flowers present.

Whiteleaf Sunflower (Helianthus glaucophyllus) Whiteleaf Sunflower (Helianthus glaucophyllus)
McDowell Co., NC
13 Sep 2008

Stem is leafy with oppositely arranged leaves.

Whiteleaf Sunflower (Helianthus glaucophyllus) Whiteleaf Sunflower (Helianthus glaucophyllus)
McDowell Co., NC
13 Sep 2008

Leaf undersides are very glaucus (whitish).

Whiteleaf Sunflower (Helianthus glaucophyllus) Whiteleaf Sunflower (Helianthus glaucophyllus)
McDowell Co., NC
13 Sep 2008


Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)
Mt. Mitchell State Park, Yancey Co., NC
13 Sep 2008

Common in North Carolina in disturbed soils, this sunflower is introduced from the western US for its edible tubers.

Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)
Mt. Mitchell State Park, Yancey Co., NC
13 Sep 2008

Note loose, spreading phyllaries.

Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)
Mt. Mitchell State Park, Yancey Co., NC
13 Sep 2008

Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)
Mt. Mitchell State Park, Yancey Co., NC
13 Sep 2008

Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)
Mt. Mitchell State Park, Yancey Co., NC
13 Sep 2008


Thinleaf Sunflower, Ten-petaled Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus) Thinleaf Sunflower, Ten-petaled Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus)
Mt. Mitchell State Park, Yancey Co., NC
13 Sep 2008

Statewide in NC but common only in the western half, this sunflower grows along woodland edges and roadsides.

Thinleaf Sunflower, Ten-petaled Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus) Thinleaf Sunflower, Ten-petaled Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus)
Mt. Mitchell State Park, Yancey Co., NC
13 Sep 2008

Long phyllaries.

Thinleaf Sunflower, Ten-petaled Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus) Thinleaf Sunflower, Ten-petaled Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus)
Mt. Mitchell State Park, Yancey Co., NC
13 Sep 2008

Thin leaves.

Thinleaf Sunflower, Ten-petaled Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus) Thinleaf Sunflower, Ten-petaled Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus)
Mt. Mitchell State Park, Yancey Co., NC
13 Sep 2008

Leaves scabrous.

Thinleaf Sunflower, Ten-petaled Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus) Thinleaf Sunflower, Ten-petaled Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus)
Mt. Mitchell State Park, Yancey Co., NC
13 Sep 2008

Stem below the inflorescence is essentially glabrous. Lower cauline leaves opposite.

Thinleaf Sunflower, Ten-petaled Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus) Thinleaf Sunflower, Ten-petaled Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus)
Mt. Mitchell State Park, Yancey Co., NC
13 Sep 2008

Upper cauline leaves often alternate.


Porter's Sunflower, Confederate Daisy (Helianthus porteri) Porter's Sunflower, Confederate Daisy (Helianthus porteri)
Granite outcrop habitat in Alexander Co., NC
3 July 2009

Formerly classified as Viguiera porteri, this sunflower is native to GA and SC where it's uncommon to rare, growing primarily on shallow soils over granite. According to Weakley's Flora, it was introduced to two sites in North Carolina (Rocky Face Mountain and Mitchell Mill Flatrock) as part of an experiment, and it is now well established at those site.

Porter's Sunflower, Confederate Daisy (Helianthus porteri) Porter's Sunflower, Confederate Daisy (Helianthus porteri)
Granite outcrop habitat in Alexander Co., NC
3 July 2009

Porter's Sunflower, Confederate Daisy (Helianthus porteri) Porter's Sunflower, Confederate Daisy (Helianthus porteri)
Granite outcrop habitat in Alexander Co., NC
3 July 2009

Note yellow disk flowers and opposite, narrow, cuneate-based leaves.

Porter's Sunflower, Confederate Daisy (Helianthus porteri) Porter's Sunflower, Confederate Daisy (Helianthus porteri)
Granite outcrop habitat in Alexander Co., NC
3 July 2009


Annotated habitat and distribution information listed above is from Radford, Ahles, & Bell. 1968. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. UNC Press; Alan Weakley's Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia; and from personal observations and discussions with Will Cook, Harry LeGrand, and Bob Wilbur. Supplemental resources include USDA plants website, and NatureServe.


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Created on ... Sep 8, 2006 | jeffpippen9@gmail.com