Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |
| N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon

Helianthus cusickii

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to tree. Leaf: basal and/or cauline, alternate, opposite, rarely whorled, simple to 2+ × compound. Inflorescence: 1° inflorescence a head, resembling a flower, of several types (see below), 1--many in generally +- cyme-like cluster; each head generally with +- calyx-like involucre of 1--many series of phyllaries (involucre bracts); receptacle of head flat to conic or columnar, paleate (bearing paleae = receptacle bracts) or epaleate; flowers 1--many per head. Flower: bisexual, unisexual, or sterile, +- small, of several types (see below); calyx 0 or modified into +- persistent pappus of bristles, scales, and/or awns; corolla radial or bilateral (0), lobes generally (0)3--5; stamens 4--5, filaments generally free, generally fused to corolla at tube/throat junction, anthers generally fused into cylinder around style, anther base generally rounded or cordate (deeply sagittate or with tail-like appendages), tip (= flattened appendage) generally projecting beyond pollen sac; pistil 1, 2-carpeled, ovary inferior, 1-chambered, 1-seeded, placenta basal, style 1, tip generally +- 2-branched (except in some staminate disk flowers), branch tips truncate or generally bearing +- brush-like appendages; stigmas 2, generally on adaxial faces of style branches. Fruit: achene (also called a cypsela) (drupe in Chrysanthemoides), cylindric to ovoid, sometimes compressed, generally deciduous with pappus attached.
Genera In Family: +- 1500 genera, 23000 species: worldwide, many habitats. Note: Flower and head types differ in form and sexual condition. A disk flower has a generally radial corolla, with a cylindric tube, expanded throat, and generally 5 lobes. Disk flowers are generally bisexual and fertile but occasionally staminate with reduced ovaries. Discoid heads comprise only disk flowers. A radiant head is a variant of a discoid head, with peripheral disk flower corollas expanded, often bilateral. A ray flower corolla is bilateral, generally with a slender tube and flattened petal-like ray (single lip composed of generally 3 lobes). Ray flowers are generally pistillate or sterile (occasionally lacking styles). Radiate heads have peripheral ray flowers and central disk flowers. Disciform heads superficially resemble discoid heads, with pistillate or sterile flowers that lack rays, together with or separate from disk flowers. A ligulate flower is bisexual, with a bilateral, generally ephemeral corolla and 5-lobed ligule. Liguliflorous heads comprise only ligulate flowers. See glossary p. 31 for illustrations of family characteristics. Echinops sphaerocephalus L., Gaillardia aristata Pursh, Gaillardia pulchella Foug., Hymenothrix loomisii S.F. Blake, Tagetes erecta L., Thelesperma megapotamicum (Spreng.) Kuntze are waifs. Melampodium perfoliatum Kunth, historic urban waif. Ageratum conyzoides L., Guizotia abyssinica (L. f.) Cass., Santolina chamaecyparisus L., orth. var. are rare or uncommon escapes from cultivation. Dyssodia papposa, Ismelia carinata (Schousb.) Sch. Bip. [Chrysanthemum carinatum Schousb.], Mantisalca salmantica (L.) Briq. & Cavill. are historical or extirpated waifs in California. Inula helenium L. not documented in California. Taxa of Aster in TJM (1993) treated here in Almutaster, Doellingeria, Eurybia, Ionactis, Oreostemma, Sericocarpus, Symphyotrichum; Chamomilla in Matricaria; Bahia in Hymenothrix; Cnicus in Centaurea; Conyza in Erigeron and Laennecia; Dugaldia in Hymenoxys; Erechtites in Senecio; Hymenoclea in Ambrosia; Lembertia in Monolopia; Osteospermum ecklonis in Dimorphotheca; Picris echioides in Helminthotheca; Prionopsis in Grindelia; Raillardiopsis in Anisocarpus and Carlquistia; Schkuhria multiflora in Picradeniopsis; Trimorpha in Erigeron; Venidium in Arctotis; Whitneya in Arnica. Amauriopsis in TJM2 (2012) treated here in Hymenothrix; Arida in Leucosyris; Bahia in Picradeniopsis; Eucephalus in Doellingeria.
Unabridged Note: Largest family of vascular plants in California and of eudicots globally.
eFlora Treatment Author: David J. Keil, except as noted
Scientific Editor: David J. Keil, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: HelianthusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: SUNFLOWER
Habit: Annual to shrub. Stem: generally erect. Leaf: opposite or alternate, generally reduced distally on stem, often 3-veined from near base, generally +- flat, generally green, generally rough-hairy. Inflorescence: heads radiate, 1 or in cyme-like clusters; involucre bell-shaped to hemispheric; phyllaries in 1--3 generally +- equal series; receptacle flat to rounded, paleate; paleae 0--3-lobed. Ray Flower: 10--many, sterile; ray yellow. Disk Flower: many; corolla yellow to red or purple, tube short, throat base tapered or often swollen, lobes triangular; style appendages triangular. Fruit: oblanceolate to obovate, +- compressed, sides rounded; pappus generally of 2 deciduous, lanceolate to ovate scales (+ 0--several shorter scales).
Species In Genus: 54 species: America. Etymology: (Greek: sun flower) Note: Helianthus maximilianii Schrad. a garden plant only.
eFlora Treatment Author: David J. Keil
Reference: Schilling 2006 FNANM 21:141--169; Owens et al. 2016 Mol Ecol 25:2630--2643.
Unabridged Reference: Heiser et al. 1969 Mem Torrey Bot Club 22(3):1--218; Stebbins et al. 2013 Aliso 31.
Helianthus cusickii A. Gray
Habit: Perennial herb 6--12 dm, from stout, +- fleshy taproot. Stem: glabrous to sparsely long-hairy. Leaf: opposite or distal alternate; petiole 0--1 cm; blade 5--15 cm, +- lanceolate, base wedge-shaped, tip acute, margin entire, abaxially glabrous or scabrous to short bristly. Inflorescence: heads 1--3; peduncle 2--15 cm; involucre 12--28 mm diam; phyllaries generally 12--18, 11--25 mm, 1.5--3 mm wide, generally > disk, +- lanceolate, generally acuminate, strigose or stiff-spreading-hairy; paleae 9--13 mm, entire or 3-toothed, sparsely hairy. Ray Flower: 10--21; ray 20--40 mm. Disk Flower: corolla 6.5--7.5 mm, lobes yellow. Fruit: 4--5 mm; pappus scales 3--4 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=34.
Ecology: Dry grassy slopes, open woodland; Elevation: 1050--1300 m. Bioregional Distribution: e KR, CaR, MP; Distribution Outside California: to Washington, Idaho, western Nevada. Flowering Time: May--Jul
Jepson eFlora Author: David J. Keil
Reference: Schilling 2006 FNANM 21:141--169; Owens et al. 2016 Mol Ecol 25:2630--2643.
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Helianthus ciliaris
Next taxon: Helianthus gracilentus

Name Search


Citation for this treatment: David J. Keil 2020, Helianthus cusickii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 8, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=3259, accessed on August 03, 2021.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2021, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 03, 2021.

No expert verified images found for Helianthus cusickii.

Geographic subdivisions for Helianthus cusickii:
e KR, CaR, MP
1. You can change the display of the base map and layers by clicking on the layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. California county polygons can be turned off and on in the layer control box.
3. Filling of Jepson subdivision polygons can be turned off and on in the layer control box.
4. Marker clustering can be turned on by clicking this link:      Marker Clustering ON
WARNING: This page may load slowly if there are large numbers of specimens in the database.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


View elevation by latitude chart

Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).