Helianthus hirsutus (Hairy Sunflower)

Plant Info
Also known as: Hispid Sunflower, Stiff-haired Sunflower
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; dry, open woods, thickets, fields
Bloom season:August - October
Plant height:2 to 6 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:none

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 7+petals

Note: the images on this page are not for Helianthus hirsutus, nor are we confident the descriptive information is correct. We'll update the page just as soon as we get verified images. Sorry for any inconvenience!

[photo of flowers] Flowers are a typical sunflower, 2 to 3½ inches across, with 10 to 15 golden yellow petals (ray flowers) and a yellow to yellow-brown center.

[photo of bracts] The bracts are about ½ inch long, sharply pointed, loosely spreading and have finely hairy edges. One plant has from 1 to a few flowers.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: opposite Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are up to 6 inches long and 2½ inches wide, tapering to a pointed tip. The leaf base is rounded and tapers abruptly to a short “winged” leaf stem. The leaf edges usually have shallow teeth but may be nearly toothless. The upper surface of the leaf is rough and the underside is hairy. Attachment is opposite. The main stem is thick and covered in stiff hairs, though may become smooth with age.


Sunflowers are hard to tell apart. Hairy Sunflower is distinguished from other sunflowers mostly by the stiff hairs on the stem and shallow teeth on the leaf edges. The leaves are typically wider (proportionate to leaf length) than other sunflowers. Hairy Sunflower tends to grow in colonies.

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More photos

Photos taken at Long Lake Regional Park, New Brighton, MN September 2006 and 2007


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