Common Name : Prairie Sunflower , Lesser sunflower
Habitat : Helianthus petiolaris is native to Central to western N. America – Manitoba and Minnesota south to Arizona.
It grows on sandy soils. Dry prairies.
Helianthus petiolaris is an annual plant growing to 3 m (9ft 10in). While some references put the plant height at up to 6 feet. It can grow in clumps that make it look like a small bush, but it is not unusual to see single plants scattered around…CLICK & SEE THE PICTURESLIC
Leaves are rather variable—they may be triangular, oval, or shaped like the head of a spear. All leaves have a rough texture and somewhat wavy edges; the color is a dull green, sometimes bluish-green. There are 2 prominent lower veins that run parallel to the main center vein. There may be a few shallow teeth along the edge, but leaves are mostly toothless. The leaf size is variable depending on the shape. Elongated spear-shapes may be up to 6 inches long and 1 inch wide. Triangular leaves are up to 3½ inches long and 2 inches wide. Leaf stalks are ¾ to 1½ inches long, longer towards the base of the plant, becoming shorter as leaves ascend the stem. Stems are typically branched, and have a rough texture.
Flower: Flower blooms between July to September. Flower is 1½ to 3 inches across, 12 to 25 yellow rays (petals) and a dark brown center disk ½ to 1 inch in diameter. A plant has 1 to several flowers, each at the end of a 1½ to 6 inch long stalk. The bracts are flat, wide at the base tapering to sharply pointed tips, with short.bristly hairs. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.
Fruit: The center disk forms a head of ¼-inch brown seeds. Seeds lack a tuft of hairs but have 2 bristly scales at the tip.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Succeeds in most soils in a sunny position. Requires a rich soil. Dislikes shade. Grows well on dry soils. The young growth is extremely attractive to slugs, plants can be totally destroyed by them. This species hybridizes in the wild with H. annuus. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits.
Seed – sow in mid spring in situ. An earlier start can be made by sowing 2 – 3 seeds per pot in a greenhouse in early spring. Use a fairly rich compost. Thin to the strongest seedling, give them an occasional liquid feed to make sure they do not become nutrient deficient and plant them out in late spring or early summer.
The seeds in the plant are edible and can be ground up into an oily meal or into a butter.
Medicinal Uses: The powdered leaves, either on their own or in an ointment, have been used as a dressing for sores and swellings.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.