Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Helianthus tuberosus L.
- Family: Aster (Asteraceae)
- Flowering: August-October
- Field Marks: This sunflower has heads with yellow centers and long-stalked, hairy leaves
with 3 main veins. The upper leaves are usually alternate.
- Habitat: Moist woods, dry woods, along streams, moist prairies.
- Habit: Perennial herb with thickened, tuber-bearing rootstocks.
- Stems: Upright, branched, hairy, up to 12 feet tall.
- Leaves: Usually alternate on the upper part of the stem, opposite on the lower part, oblong to
ovate, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, toothed, rough to the touch on the upper surface,
hairy on the lower surface, with 3 strong veins, up to 8 inches long, up to 3 inches wide; leaf stalks
- Flowers: Many, crowded into a head, with several heads on each plant; each head with 12-20
yellow rays surrounding a yellow center, subtended by pointed, hairy bracts.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 5, yellow, some of them united to form rays, others united to form small tubes.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Achenes flat, hairy.
- Notes: The underground parts of this plant may be cooked and eaten.
Previous Species -- Common Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
Return to Species List -- Group 8
Next Species -- Swamp Rosemallow (Hibiscus moscheutos)