Kentucky Nature Preserves Rare Plants

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Eggert's Sunflower
Helianthus eggertii
Family: Asteraceae

Protection Status:
State Status:  T
USFWS Status: {null}

Global Rank: G3
State Rank: S2

Open oak hickory forest on the highland rim in KY; rocky hills and barrens and roadside remnants of this habitat.

Species Description:
A tall (up to 2.5 m) perennial herb with large yellow flower heads, growing from elongate rhizomes, in bloom from early August through mid-September. Stems are erect, from a short, thick base. Leaves are mostly ovate to broadly lanceolate, the largest 10-20 cm long. Flowers in compound, branching, leafy inflorescences, which terminate in one or several heads. The ray (outer) flowers rich yellow, about 2.5 cm long (the whole head in bloom 5-7.5 cm wide). The disc (central) flowers about 0.5 cm long, also yellow, with 5 spreading-triangular lobes. Fruit a deep brown, smooth, 3-4 angled, 0.5 cm long seed (achene), these numerous in the mature heads.

Flowering Period: Early August to late August.
Fruiting Period: Early September to late September.

Additional Information at NatureServe

Diagnostic Characteristics:
Characters that distinguish this species are the colonial habit, smooth waxy stems, blue-waxy and roughish upper leaf surfaces, paler-waxy lower leaf surfaces, leaves nearly sessile (less than 0.5 mm petiole) and single-veined and large flowering heads. Plants of barrens and dry open woodlands.

Woody plant invasion may need to be controlled using periodic prescribed fire, mowing or other means to maintain the open character of the habitat for this species. Hand removal of trees in the vicinity of the species is necessary. Soil disturbance such as ATV trails, timber removal or any activity that results in increased erosion and weed invasion will be detrimental. Exotic pest plants are a threat to this species and should be removed.

Global Range:
Occurs within portions of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama.

Known Kentucky Occurrences:

Note: To print pages from this site change Page Setup to Landscape
Data last updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission
801 Teton Trail
Frankfort,KY 40601
Phone: (502) 573-2886
Fax: (502) 573-2355
Copyright © 2003-2013 Commonwealth of Kentucky. All rights reserved.