Tetragonotheca helianthoides L. - Squarehead

Tetragonotheca helianthoides plant

Family - Asteraceae

Stems:

Tetragonotheca helianthoides stem

Leaves:

Tetragonotheca helianthoides leaves

Inflorescence:

N/A

Involucre:

Tetragonotheca helianthoides budNon-expanded flower head.

Tetragonotheca helianthoides involucre

Ray flowers:

Tetragonotheca helianthoides flowers

Disk flowers:

Tetragonotheca helianthoides diskDisk flowers close-up.

Flowering - April - July.

Habitat - Sandhills, open sandy woods.

Origin - Native to North America.

Other information - This striking species can be found in the southern half of Alabama. The plant is easy to identify becasue of its ascending, hairy stems, opposite leaves, big yellow flower heads, and four involucre bracts. The bracts form a pyramid-shaped "bud" before opening and exposing the flower head within. This species is certainly worthy of cultivation and requires little care once established.
The genus name Tetragonotheca derives from the Greek "tetr(a)" meaning "four", "gono" meaning "reproductive organ, seed, offspring", and "thec(a)" meaning "a case, box, chest, cup", all referring to the four involucre bracts and the small pyramid-shaped box they form in "bud."
The species epithet helianthoides means "resembling Helianthus." Helianthus is the genus of sunflowers from the Asteraceae.

Alabama Distribution:

Tetragonotheca helianthoides map

Photographs taken at Fort Benning, GA., 5-6-05.


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