Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council Plants Resource Page

Plant of the Month - Slender Sunflower

Morning Glory

Slender Sunflower

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Plant Description

Common Name(s):Slender Sunflower
Scientific Name:Helianthus gracilentus
Family:Asteraceae (Sunflower)
Plant Type:Perennial
Size:up to 6 feet high
Habitat:Chaparral, fields, dry slopes, roadsides
Blooms:May to October
Fire Response:Stump Sprout or Seed

Slender Sunflower blooms throughout summer, brightening the typically dry landscape of this time with its showy yellow flowers. It is similar in appearance to Common Sunflower, but smaller and less full.

The flowers are solitary on long stems, up to 3 inches in diameter with yellow ray flowers and in the center, yellow to red-purple disk flowers. The flowers can be found in bloom from May to October. Leaves are lance-shaped, rough and hairy, and 1 to 5 inches long. The plant has an erect and shrubby appearance.

The genus name Helianthus is from two Greek words meaning "sun" and "flower". The species name gracilentus means "slender".

Contributed by Liz Baumann

Slender Sunflower - Originally featured: August 2013
Last modified: May 14 2017 18:40:00.
Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains, by Milt McAuley
Flowering Plants: The Santa Monica Mountains, Coastal and Chaparral Regions of Southern California, by Nancy Dale
Images Botanical Terms for Leaves