Saturday, October 25, 2014

Giant Sunflower

Giant Sunflower
Helianthus giganteus
This plant is also known as Tall Sunflower, which seems like a better name to me. While being taller than the average sunflower, it never struck me as "Giant". I've seen garden sunflowers taller than Giant Sunflowers. Several of the Silphiums; Compassplant, Cupplant, Prairie Dock, are also larger plants. I suppose the early taxonomists were impressed by this plant and decided to call it giganteus.

Giant Sunflowers grow in wetter places, not in the water but in moist soils. They tend to grow in groups, perhaps all one plant. The stems are reddish and if you look at the back side of the flower, you'll see that the bracts are long and pointy.
Tall plants

Reddish stems
Long, pointy bracts
Long, thin, slightly toothed leaves

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