|Common woolly sunflower|
|Dark Divide in Washington|
The Lewis and Clark Expedition reportedly saw this plant growing above their camp on the Clearwater River (near present-day Kamiah, Idaho), and collected two specimens of the then scientifically unnamed plant on 6 June 1806. Botanist Frederick Traugott Pursh studied the plants collected on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, after their return to the east. His first classification and naming of the species, as Actinella lanata, was published in his 1813 book A Systematic Arrangement and Description of The Plants of North America.
The name "woolly sunflower" is often used to describe any member of the genus Eriophyllum.
Eriophyllum lanatum is native to western North America, commonly growing in many dry, open places below 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in elevation. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil, but it also grows on rocky slopes and bluffs.
Eriophyllum lanatum is a perennial herb growing from 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 centimeters) in height. The woolly sunflower grows in well-branched clumps. Both stems and leaves may be covered with a woolly gray hair, but some plants lack this hair. The hairs conserve water by reflecting heat and reducing air movement across the leaf's surface. The hairs impart a dusty gray color to the plant.
Flowers are yellow and composite, looking much like true sunflowers, and sometimes grow to 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Both the ray and disk flowers are yellow, with one flower head on each flowering stalk.
- Eriophyllum lanatum var. achillioides (DC.) Jeps. — California, Nevada, Oregon.
- Eriophyllum lanatum var. arachnoideum (Fisch. & Avé-Lall.) Jeps. — Spiderweb sunflower; endemic to the California Coast Ranges from Del Norte County to Monterey County in California.
- Eriophyllum lanatum var. croceum (Greene) Jeps. — Sierra woolly sunflower; endemic to the Sierra Nevada in California.
- Eriophyllum lanatum var. grandiflorum (A.Gray) Jeps. — Large flowered woolly sunflower; northern California, Oregon.
- Eriophyllum lanatum var. hallii Constance — Fort Tejon woolly sunflower, Hall's woolly sunflower; endemic to the Tehachapi Mountains in Kern County, and Sierra Madre Mountains in Santa Barbara County, in southern California.
- Eriophyllum lanatum var. integrifolium (Hook.) Smiley — Oregon sunshine; California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.
- Eriophyllum lanatum var. lanatum — Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington.
- Eriophyllum lanatum var. lanceolatum (Howell) Jeps. — endemic to the Klamath Mountains, in NW California and SW Oregon.
- Eriophyllum lanatum var. leucophyllum (DC.) W.R.Carter — British Columbia, Oregon, Washington.
- Eriophyllum lanatum var. obovatum (Greene) H.M.Hall — Southern Sierra woolly sunflower; endemic to the western Sierra Nevada and the San Bernardino Mountains in California.
- The Plant List, Eriophyllum lanatum (Pursh) J.Forbes
- Tropicos, Eriophyllum lanatum (Pursh) J. Forbes
- University of California, Calflora taxon report: Eriophyllum lanatum (Pursh) James Forbes
- Sierra Nevada Wildflowers, Karen Wiese, 2nd Ed. 2013, p. 116
- Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
- Flora of North America, Eriophyllum lanatum (Pursh) J. Forbes, 1833. Common woolly sunflower
- Calflora: Eriophyllum lanatum var. achilleoides
- Calflora: Eriophyllum lanatum var. arachnoideum
- Calflora: Eriophyllum lanatum var. croceum
- Calflora: Eriophyllum lanatum var. grandiflorum
- Calflora: Eriophyllum lanatum var. hallii
- Calflora: Eriophyllum lanatum var. integrifolium
- Calflora: Eriophyllum lanatum var. lanceolatum
- Calflora: Eriophyllum lanatum var. obovatum
- Calflora Database: Eriophyllum lanatum (Common woolly sunflower, Wooly sunflower)
- Jepson Manual eFlora (TJM2) treatment of Eriophyllum lanatum
- USDA Plants Profile for Eriophyllum lanatum (common woolly sunflower)
- U.C. Calphotos gallery: Eriophyllum lanatum images
- Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest: Eriophyllum lanatum — photos, description, Northwest distribution map.
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas: Eriophyllum lanatum
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