E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Eriophyllum lanatum (Pursh) Forbes
Common Woolly Sunflower (woolly eriophyllum)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Curtis Bjork  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #15827)

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Distribution of Eriophyllum lanatum
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Eriophyllum lanatum var. leucophyllum

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a fibrous root; stems woolly, few- to much- branched from the base, 10-60 cm tall.
Basal leaves few, soon deciduous; stem leaves alternate to opposite, entire to narrowly lobed, 1-8 cm long.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, solitary on long stems; ray flowers 8-13, yellow, 1-2 cm long; involucres 9-12 mm tall; involucral bracts firm, erect, embracing the ray achenes.
Achenes slender, 4-angled, glabrous to hairy; pappus of 6-12 translucent scales, or a toothed crown.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry meadows and rocky slopes from the lowland to the montane zones; common on Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland, rare in SC and SE BC; S to MT, WY, UT and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Eriophyllum lanatum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 55 189 382
Slope Gradient (%) 0 39 210
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
19 164 330
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 1 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(6), CWH(10), IDF(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

A very shade-intolerant, submontane to montane, Western North American forb distributed equally in the Pacific and Cordilleran regions. Occurs in cool temperate and cool mesothermal climates on excessively dry to very dry, nitrogen-medium soils. Its occurrence increases with increasing precipitation and elevation. Grows in non-forested, grassy communities very shallow, on water-shedding sites; often inhabits disturbed sites. Characteristic of moisture-deficient sites.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool temperate & cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References