Helianthus mollis
Downy sunflower
Image of Helianthus mollis

Photo by Mark D. Tomboulian 

Key Characteristics

Medium-sized forb (1 m) of prairies; leaves opposite, sessile and heart-shaped, covered with soft white hairs; flower yellow, relatively large (disc 2-3 cm wide, rays 2-3 cm long).

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • State Rank: S2
  • Global Rank: G4G5

Occurrences

County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Berrien11939
Calhoun12010
Cass11986
Jackson11980
Kalamazoo12006
Monroe11985
Muskegon12011
Ontonagon11986
St. Clair12011
St. Joseph22009
Distribution map for Helianthus mollis

Updated 7/21/2017. 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.

Habitat

Found in prairie remnants in open sandy ground, and in dry, sandy disturbed areas along railroads, as well as in savannas.

Natural Community Types

Methodology

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

Little bluestem, big bluestem, colic root, wild indigo, common horsetail, path rush, hairy pinweed, pale spiked lobelia, mountain mint, meadowsweet, dewberry, butterfly weed, switch grass, leadplant, rosinweed, and prairie dock.

Management

Protect habitat and hydrological and natural disturbance regimes. This species likely requires natural disturbances associated with prairie habitat such as prescribed fire or brush removal to prevent woody plant succession. Much of this habitat type has been lost or severely degraded.

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 23, 2017]

References

Survey References

Technical References

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