Jul. 15, 2022

downy sunflower, Helianthus mollis

Downy sunflowers are a treat to find. They are rare here in Michigan, and are just a little different than the rest of our sunflowers. The plants are shorter, and the flower heads a little larger (excepting of course the common sunflowers of cultivation). Many sunflowers have stiff hairs that make them rough to the touch. Downy sunflower hairs are shorter and more gentle. It seems these would be excellent garden plants, but I don't recall seeing them in cultivation. They are of course offered on the internet. Also called ashy or hairy, these grow in AL, AR, CT, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV, and ON. Charlevoix Co MI, 9/8/14. Aster family, Asteraceae.