Oct. 1, 2017

stiff sunflower, Helianthus pauciflorus

Species names often attempt to describe something about the plant. In this case the name means small flowered. I really don't understand that. These flower heads are very much the same size as most other sunflowers. Perhaps Nuttall's first specimen was a small individual. Or perhaps he was comparing this to the much larger common sunflower, which has much the same range. In any case, its unusually dark disc flowers make it an exceptional species. The bee in the image is actually a fly. Hoverflies feed on nectar and pollen. Stiff sunflower grows in AR, AZ, CO, CT, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OK, PA, RI, SD, TX, VA, VT, WI, WY, AB, BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK, and YK. Lenawee Co MI, 8/21/11.