MAXIMILIAN SUNFLOWER
File Size: 117 KB
 
Helianthus maximiliani  Schrad.
Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 2-9 feet
Family: Asteraceae - Sunflower Family
Flowering Period:   August, September
Stems: Erect, solitary or loosely clustered, light green to occasionally reddish, rough-hairy, especially above.
Leaves: Mostly alternate, simple, short-stalked, lanceolate, 3 to 12 inches long, 1/2 to 2 inches wide, rough, grayish green, often folded lengthwise to form down-curving trough; margins entire to shallow-toothed.
Inflorescences: Heads, numerous, usually in raceme-like clusters, on stout stalks, in upper leaf axils, 2 to 3 inches wide; bracts linear-lanceolate, exceeding disk, hairy, tips slender.
Flowers: Ray florets 10-25, to 1.5 inch long, yellow; disk florets yellow.
Fruits: Achenes, wedge-shaped, flattened, gray, black spotted, without bristles or scales, enclosing small seed.
Habitat: Open, dry or damp prairies, rocky pastures and hillsides, waste ground, roadsides, and low moist areas, most abundant in sandy soils.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
Forage Value: Maximilian sunflower is a desirable range plant that is palatable and nutritious for livestock.
Uses: Produces a heavy crop of seed that is excellent wildlife food.
Comments: Named for Prince Maximilian Alexander Philip von Wied-Neuwied, (1782-1867), the German botanist who discovered it while traveling in North America.

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