Plants and Animals

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

US Status:
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S3 - Vulnerable

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Allegan11894
Barry11960
Berrien21981
Calhoun11914
Cass11985
Cheboygan11938
Kalamazoo11937
Kent11967
Lenawee62001
St. Joseph11978
Washtenaw11868

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

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.

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.

Management Recommendations

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.

Survey Methods

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

  • Meander search

    • Survey Period: From first week of June to fourth week of September

References

Survey References

  • Elzinga, C.L., D.W. Salzer, and J.W. Willoughby. 1998. Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations. The Nature Conservancy and Bureau of Land Management, Denver. BLM Technical Reference 1730-1. 477pp.
  • Goff, G.F., G.A. Dawson, and J.J. Rochow. 1982. Site examination for Threatened and Endangered plant species. Environmental Management 6(4): 307-316
  • Nelson, J.R. 1984. Rare Plant Field Survey Guidelines. In: J.P. Smith and R. York. Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. 3rd Ed. California Native Plant Society, Berkeley. 174pp.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1986. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques For Impact Assessment. Natural Areas Journal 5(3):18-30.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1987. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques for Impact Assessment. In: Conservation and management of rare and endangered plants. Ed. T.S. Elias. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. 8pp.

Technical References

  • Antonio, T.M. and S. Masi. 2001.The Sunflower Family in the Upper Midwest. A Photographic Guide to the Asteraceae in Illinois, Indianan, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Indiana Academy of Science, Indianapolis. 421pp.
  • Deam, C. C. 1940. Flora of Indiana. Department of Conservation, Indianapolis. 1236pp.
  • Fisher, T.R. 1988. The Dicotyledoneae of Ohio. Part 3. Asteraceae. Ohio State University Press, Columbus. 280pp.
  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2006. Flora of North America, North of Mexico. Volume 21: Magnoliophyta: Asteridae (in part): Asteraceae, part 3. Oxford University Press, New York. 616pp.
  • Gleason, H. A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second edition. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 910pp.
  • Gray, A. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany; eighth ed. Van Nostrand Reinghold, New York. 1632pp.
  • Holmgren, N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the vascular plants of Northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 937pp.
  • Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region, 4th ed. Indiana Academy of Science, Indianapolis. 921pp.
  • Voss, E.G. 1996. Michigan Flora. Part III. Dicots (Pyrolaceae-Compositae). Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 622pp.