Helianthus hirsutus
Whiskered sunflower

Key Characteristics

Tall forb (1-2 m) of open woods; stem hairy, bearing opposite, sessile leaves that are widest at the base; flower yellow.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S3
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
St. Joseph11978
Distribution map for Helianthus hirsutus

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Few habitat data known for this woodland sunflower, which appears to largely persist in disturbed openings and rights-of-way in former oak barrens and savanna regions. Although known as a woodland species, one occurrence is reported as a prairie fen adjacent to an upland black oak forest.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

No data are available concerning associates in Michigan.


This species would likely benefit from oak barrens management, including the use of prescribed fire to maintain openings and ecotonal areas. Control of exotic species and excessive woody brush is also likely important. When found in or near wetlands, maintenance of the hyrdrologic regime, would also be beneficial.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Aug 16, 2018]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract


Survey References

Technical References

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