Helianthus mollis is a perennial herb, stems 0.5-1 m tall, densely gray-hairy, usually colonial from thick rhizomes.
Leaves opposite, the upper sometimes alternate, stalkless, blade 6-15 cm long, 2-6 cm wide, broadly lance- to nearly heart-shaped, base slightly lobed, gray- rough above, gray-hairy below, base 3-veined, margin finely toothed to smooth.
Flowers yellow, rays 16-35, 1.5-3.5 cm long, not fertile, disk yellow, 2-3 cm wide, basal bracts densely white-hairy, narrow, loose, spreading; blooming July-Sept.
Fruit dry, 1seeded.
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Origin: Midwestern US.
Habitat: Dry, open habitats.