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Content tagged with "fall wildflower"

Photo of American water willow closeup on flowers

American Water Willow

Justicia americana
American water willow is common on gravel bars and other stream banks throughout much of Missouri. The dense colonies of emergent stems have leaves like a willow’s, but the two-lipped flowers resemble little orchids.

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Photo of American water willow closeup on flowers

American Water Willow (Flowers)

The flowers of water willow are nothing like the catkins of true willows. They are clustered into headlike groups and are about ¾ inch long with a notched upper lip and a 3-lobed lower lip. The upper lip is light purple, rarely white; the lower lip white or pale purple with purple markings. It blooms May through October.

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Photo of an ashy sunflower flowerhead, plus several stems, leaves, and buds.

Ashy Sunflower

Sunflowers provide nectar and pollen to a great variety of insects, plus a hunting ground for spiders, assassin bugs, and other predators of the many insects attracted to the nectar and pollen. When the flowers are spent, birds and mammals, including finches and rodents, relish the sunflower seeds.

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Photo of ashy sunflowers showing flowers, leaves, and stems.

Ashy Sunflower

Often growing in colonies, ashy sunflower is relatively short compared to others in its genus. Its grayish, hairy, sessile, broadly oval leaves, and its appearance in upland prairies in the southern half of the state, help to identify it.

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Photo of an ashy sunflower flowerhead.

Ashy Sunflower

The few flowerheads of ashy sunflower have 17–30 ray florets, which are often a lemony yellow. The flowerheads are about 3½ inches wide.

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Photo of ashy sunflowers showing flowers, leaves, and stems.

Ashy Sunflower (Hairy Sunflower)

Helianthus mollis
Ashy sunflower is relatively short compared to others in its genus. Its leaves are grayish, hairy, sessile, and broadly oval. Its colonies are common in upland prairies in the southern half of the state.

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Photo of the base of an ashy sunflower flowerhead, showing involucral bracts.

Ashy Sunflower (Involucre)

The overlapping bracts (called involucral bracts) beneath the flowerhead of ashy sunflower are many, narrow, and covered with hairs.

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Photo of ashy sunflower stem showing two opposite, sessile leaves.

Ashy Sunflower (Leaves)

The leaves of ashy sunflower are opposite, sessile, broadly ovate, stiff, and densely gray-hairy, with inconspicuous teeth.

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Photo of many blooming ashy sunflower plants, showing gray-green leaves.

Ashy Sunflower Colony

Ashy sunflower is a native perennial wildflower that usually grows in colonies. It’s most often encountered in prairies in all but the southeastern quarter of the state.

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Photo of many blooming ashy sunflower plants, showing gray-green leaves.

Ashy Sunflower Colony

Colonies of ashy sunflowers, with their sunny yellow blossoms and grayish foliage, make a striking late summer display in our native tallgrass prairies.

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