WILLOW-LEAF SUNFLOWER
File Size: 75 KB
 
Helianthus salicifolius  A. Dietr.
Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 5-10 feet
Family: Asteraceae - Sunflower Family
Flowering Period:   September,October
Stems: Erect, simple below, branching in inflorescence, pale greenish white to reddish purple, glabrous, sometimes waxy.
Leaves: Numerous, mostly alternate, simple, sessile, narrowly linear-lanceolate to linear, 3 to 8 inches long, less than 2/5 inch wide, thin, flat, pale green, drooping; margins entire or shallow-toothed; tips tapered to slender points; lower leaves usually dropping early.
Inflorescences: Heads, numerous, in open, panicle-like clusters, slender-stalked, 2 to 3 inches wide; bracts linear-lanceolate, loose spreading, some exceeding disk.
Flowers: Ray florets 10-20, to 1.25 inch long, pale yellow; disk florets reddish purple.
Fruits: Achenes, slender, less than 1/4 inch long, glabrous, tipped with 2-4 awns, enclosing small seed.
Habitat: Rocky hills and slopes, roadsides, and waste areas, usually associated with limestone soils.
Distribution: Principally east 1/3 of Kansas.
Forage Value: Willow-leaf sunflower is palatable and nutritious for livestock; it will decrease in overgrazed pastures.
Uses: Quail and prairie chickens consume the seeds.

Willow-leaf sunflower heads
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Riley County, Kansas
Willow-leaf sunflower leaves
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Riley County, Kansas
Willow-leaf sunflower inflorescence
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Riley County, Kansas
Willow-leaf sunflower
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Riley County, Kansas
Willow-leaf sunflower
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Riley County, Kansas
Willow-leaf sunflower
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Riley County, Kansas
Willow-leaf sunflower leaves
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Riley County, Kansas
Willow-leaf sunflower
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Riley County, Kansas
Willow-leaf sunflower
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Riley County, Kansas