Helianthus debilis Nutt. - Dune Sunflower

Helianthus debilis plant

Family - Asteraceae

Stems:

Helianthus debilis stem

Leaves:

Helianthus debilis leafAdaxial leaf surface.

Helianthus debilis leafAbaxial leaf surface.

Inflorescence:

N/A

Involucre:

Helianthus debilis involucre

Ray flowers:

Helianthus debilis flowers

Disk flowers:

Helianthus debilis diskDisk close-up.

Flowering - May - December. Year-round further south.

Habitat - Coastal dunes, sandy open ground, disturbed sites, waste places. Also cultivated.

Origin - Native to North America.

Other information - This attractive species can be found in a handful of southern Alabama counties. The plant is easy to identify becasue of its thick, dark-green leaves (which have long petioles), its clambering stems, its big yellow flowers, and its habitat. The plant is common on beach dunes throughout the southeast.
The genus name Helianthus derives from the Greek "helio" meaning "sun" and "anth(us)" meaning "flower".
The species epithet debilis comes from the Latin "debil(i)" meaning "weak" referring to the stems.

Alabama Distribution:

Helianthus debilis map

Photographs taken in Daytona Beach Shores, FL., 12-27-03.


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