Kentucky Nature Preserves Rare Plants

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Silphium Sunflower
Helianthus silphioides
Family: Asteraceae

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

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S1

Low sandy alluvial soils, fallow fields, woodland borders, open dry uplands, thickets and roadsides.

Species Description:
Perennial herb.

Flowering Period: Early July to late October.

Additional Information at NatureServe

Diagnostic Characteristics:
This sunflower can be distinguished by the ovate to suborbicular leaves that abruptly contract to a winged petiole. The leaves are gradually reduced in size toward the top of the stem. These are mostly distributed on the lower half of the plant. The disc portion of the flower is red-purple.

Disturbance such as ATV trails, timber removal or any activity that results in increased erosion and weed invasion will be detrimental.

Global Range:
H. silphioides occurs from Alabama west to Louisiana, and north to western Kentucky, southern Illinois, and southeastern Missouri. May be extirpated from Illinois (Vlaszek 1995).

Known Kentucky Occurrences:

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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
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