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
Plant Type:Perennial
Size:up to 6 feet high
Habitat:Chaparral, fields, dry slopes, roadsides
Blooms:May to October

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

Other Similar Plants:
California Aster Corethrogyne filaginifolia
Giant Coreopsis Coreopsis gigantea
Coyote Brush Baccharis pilularis
Bush Sunflower Encelia californica
California Thistle Cirsium occidentale var. californ
Mule Fat Baccharis salicifolia
Canyon Sunflower Venegasia carpesioides
Golden Yarrow Eriophyllum confertiflorum
Mugwort Artemisia douglasiana
Common Sunflower Helianthus annus
San Diego Milk-aster Stephanomeria diegensis
Perezia, Sacapellote Acourtia microcephala
Cliff Aster Malacothrix saxatilis
Tejon Milk-Aster Stephanomeria cichoriacea
Rock Daisy Perityle emoryi
California Goldfields Lasthenia californica
Royal or Southern Goldfields Lasthenia coronaria
Lyons Pentachaeta Pentachaeta lyonii
Annual Coreopsis Leptosyne bigelovii
Slender Tarweed Deinandra fasciculata
Common Yarrow Achillea millefolium
Sagebrush Artemisia californica
Telegraph Weed Hetertheca grandiflora

Originally featured: August 2013
Last modified: May 15 2017 01:40:00.
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