Helianthus divaricatus is a perennial herb, colonial from long rhizomes, 0.5-1.5 m tall, stem smooth below inflorescence, often waxy-pale.
Leaves subentire, all opposite, nearly stalkless, blade 5-18 cm long, 1-5 cm wide, lance-shaped, widest near base, tapering to tip, 3-veined at rounded base, rough textured above, hairy below.
Flowers yellow, rays 8-15, 1.5-3 cm long, not fertile, disk yellow, 1-1.5 cm wide, basal bracts slender, tips long-pointed, loose; usually one flower per stem (Yatskievych 2006); blooms and fruits Aug.-Oct.
Fruit dry, 1-seeded achene, crowned by deciduous scales, surrounded by chaffy bracts of the floral base. Seeds eaten by numerous birds and small mammals (Martin et al. 1951).
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Upland woods, open sites.