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Rayless Sunflower   Helianthus radula

Rayless Sunflower (Helianthus radula), nectar source for butterflies

Gulf Fritillary butterflies drink nectar from Rayless Sunflower.

This amazing flower rarely grows petals. The bloom is on spikes 24 - 30 inches tall. Leaves primarily grow in a rosette at ground level. The tiny yellow true flowers are in the center of the 'flower'. Like zinnias, true sunflowers have 'bracts' or 'petals' which are actually leaf bracts. The true flower are the tiny yellow flowers in the center of the 'bloom'. In this photo, you can see a Gulf Fritillary drinking nectar from these tiny yellow flowers.

Common Name: Rayless Sunflower

Botanical Name: Helianthus radula

Plant type: Perennial

Light: Sun to partial shade

Plant; up to 6 inches tall
Bloom spike; up to 30 inches.

Water: Average to low

Soil: Will grow in almost any soil

Propagation: Seed

Bloom: non-descript; Dark Brown with tiny yellow flowers in the middle

Note: Serves as a nectar plant for several species of butterflies. Note: If you're looking for an unusual nectar plant, this is it!