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       Oklahoma Wildflowers serves as an introduction to The Wonderful World of Oklahoma Wildflowers with a linked list to the site which which has general plant information and images useful for identification and educational purposes.
        Since space is limited here I will add photos and information about plants blooming during the current month. For more detailed information and images go to the linked address. Unless noted, all photos were taken in Oklahoma
        For detailed information on using the Wonderful World of Oklahoma Wildflowers scroll to the end of this page or click on a flower common name on the list.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Maximilian's Sunflower

Maximilian's Sunflower (Helianthus maximilianii)

       Maximilian's Sunflower, blooming from late summer through the fall, provides the roadsides with a beautiful splash of yellow. Although preferring to grow grow in rocky, hilly habitats they may be found in a variety of places including roadsides, fields, pastures and prairies.
       Found in the central United States, it was named after the famous Prince Maximilian, a explorer from Germany, a naturalist, who traveled the western regions of the United States in the 1830's.
       This plant can reach heights of 10 feet and produces yellow flowers to 3 inches or more in diameter. This plant can be distinguished by the fine gray hairs on the leaves which give the plant its muted green or grayish color. Another species the Willow-leaved Sunflower (Helianthus salicfolius) similar to the Maximilian's Sunflower have long narrow reddish leaves and fine hairs.
       As with the Common Sunflower, this sunflower is important for birds and insects, such as the Pennsylvania Leatherwing, who eat the pollen and seeds, and mammals such as rabbits, cattle and other grazing animals which consume the plants.
       The plant has many uses, including food (sunflower seeds and oil) ,for wildlife and humans and planting for erosion control. In the past Native Americans have use it as a source of dye, food, oil, and its fiber for thread.

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