Rayless Sunflower
(Pineland Sunflower - Roundleaf Sunflower)
Helianthus radula
Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower) Family

Plant is an upright, sprawling perennial with a taproot. Many branched, the plant is tall, hairy, nearly leafless flower stalk bearing a solitary rayless flower head. Preferred habitat is roadsides and moist pine woods. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Basal leaves are egg-shaped; four to ten inches long; hairy; short stalked or clasping and occasionally eared.

Flower stalks emerge from the leaf axil. The absence of rays surrounding the head make this one of our most atypical and distinctive sunflowers. Because there are no rays the plant is more often overlooked because it appears to be in the last stages of maturing its seeds and the assumption is it has died. Flowers occur in the summer.

Fruit is a seed whose outer layer is fused to it (achene).

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