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Narrowleaf Sunflower   Helianthus angustifolius

The range distribution maps for the Narrowleaf Sunflower are from the Plants Database of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).


Of the dozen or more species of sunflowers found in Florida, the Narrowleaf Sunflower, also known as the Swamp Sunflower, is one of the most common.  This perennial is native to Florida and found throughout the state except for the extreme southern part of the Peninsula.  It is also found in many south-central and eastern states of the U.S.  It is usually found in moist to dry areas, open woodlands, old fields, and along roadsides.

This multi-branched plant can grow to a height of 4-6 feet.  The composite flower heads are 2-3 inches wide and cupped in green bracts.  It has 10-15 elongated bright yellow petals (ray flowers) that surround a reddish-brown center.  The center contains at least 75 disc florets that are yellow or reddish in color with dark brown or black anthers.

The dark green leaves are long and narrow, varying in length from 2-6 inches with the longer leaves nearer the base of the plant.  The leaves are mostly stalkless, alternately attached, have smooth margins, and have a rough sandpaper-like surface.

One plant can produce 3-16 flower heads that bloom during the summer and fall.  In Florida, the peak bloom times are October and November.  The flowers are attractive to many bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.  The flowers produce many seeds that attract birds and small mammals.

The images on this page were taken in Deep Creek in Charlotte County during the last week of November.