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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Stiff Sunflower - Helianthus pauciflorus
Other Names:  Helianthus rigidus, Helianthus laetiflorus

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 4

External Links

General Description
Rhizomatous perennial. Stems erect, usually simple, 30–100 cm. Herbage scabrous to hispid-strigose. Leaves opposite at least below; blades serrate, lanceolate to ovate, 3–12 cm long. Involucres 14–23 mm across; phyllaries broadly lanceolate to ovate, glabrate, minutely ciliate, 6–10 mm long. Ray ligules 10–30 mm long. Disk corollas 4–8 mm long. Achenes 4–6 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are subspecies subrhomboideus (Rydb.) O. Spring & E.E. Schill.

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
Throughout all of temperate North America except the southwest (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 48

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)


  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Wachter, D.H. 1995. The ecology of selected grasshopper species along an elevational gradient. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 59 p.
    • Wiman, N.G. 2001. Dynamics of leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.) infested plant communities influenced by flea beetles in the Aphthona complex (Colepotera: Chrysomelidae). M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 148 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Stiff Sunflower — Helianthus pauciflorus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from