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

Helianthus nuttallii Torr. & A. Gray
Nuttall's Sunflower
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #25679)

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Distribution of Helianthus nuttallii
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Helianthus nuttallii ssp. rydbergii

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a rhizome and tuberous-thickened root; stems erect, simple or few, branched above, hairless below the inflorescence or with a few coarse, spreading hairs, 0.6-2 m tall.
Basal leaves lacking; lower leaves opposite; upper leaves alternate, lanceolate to linear, short-stalked, rough-hairy, 8-16 cm long, 6-30 mm wide, entire, flat, 3-nerved at the base.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, solitary to few, terminal; involucres 1.0-2.0 cm tall; involucral bracts lance-linear, loose, inconspicuously hairy on the margins; ray flowers 10-16, 1.5-3 cm long; disk flowers yellow; receptacles convex to low-conic.
Achenes moderately compressed, usually glabrous; pappus of 2 readily deciduous awns with enlarged, thin, papery bases.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist fields and meadows in the lowland and steppe zones; rare, known from several widely scattered locations in BC, probably introduced on S Vancouver Island and at Smithers; E to NF and S to MN, GA, NM, AZ, NV and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References