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Helianthus decapetalus

Common Name of Species: Thin Leaved Sunflower 
Family: Asteraceae

Entry Author:  C. Friedl, Muhlenberg College
Thin-leaved sunflowers can be identified by the way their broad leaves narrow abruptly into long, winged stalks, or petioles.
Leaves are thin, nearly smooth, green on the underside and sharply toothed.  Upper leaves can sometimes be alternating.  Lower leaves, have ¼ inch stalks that narrow quickly from broad leaf. Lower leaf stalks are also winged.
Flowers are 2-3 inches wide, and yellow.  Despite the scientific name (Helianthus decapetalus), there are not always exactly ten rays that surround the greenish/yellow disk. 
Stems are generally smooth and straight.  
Branching Pattern:  Leaves are most commonly opposite, but can be alternate towards the top.
2-5 feet in height. 
Grow in open woods, dry thickets, and forest margins.
Throughout eastern North America.

Niering, W.A., Olmstead, N.C, & Thieret, J.W. (2001). National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers Eastern Region (Revised Edition).  New York: Random House Inc.

Newcomb, Lawrence (1977).  Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide.  New York: Little, Brown.

McKenny, M. & Peterson R.T. (1996). Peterson Field Guides: Wildflowers Northeastern/ North-central North America. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

USDA, NRCS (2004). Plants Database, Version 3.05 (  National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874 USA.


This page was created by: C. Friedl, Muhlenberg College
Last updated 11/10/05