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Common name: Oregon sunshine
Scientific name: Eriophyllum lanatum
Duration: Annual, biennial, perennial depending on site
Family: Sunflower family (Asteraceae)
Habitat: Dry, rocky, open sites in grasslands and dry forests. Often found along roadsides.
Blooming period: Late summer to fall
Color: Golden yellow flower heads with grayish-green foliage
Height: 4-24''
Planting Time: Fall/Winter; 90-day cold/moist stratification

Pronunciation: Eriophyllum lanatum (er-ee-oh-FIL-um la-NA-tum)

Other common names: common woolly sunflower

Forage Value: Oregon sunshine attracts beetles, syrphid flies, bees, moths and butterflies. The endangered Oregon butterfly, Fender’s Blue (Icaricia icarioides), relies on this flower for nectar.

Historic Uses: The Skagit tribe rubbed leaves of this plant on skin to prevent chapping, the Chehalis used dried flowers as a love charm.


Miscellany: This plant was first collected by Lewis and Clark near Kamiah, Idaho in 1806. The white hairs on the leaves of Oregon sunshine conserve water making this a drought tolerant plant suitable to xeriscape gardens.

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds and should be given consideration for use in a butterfly garden. The gray woolly foliage is attractive prior to flowering. Re-seeds self readily, but does not move far. A short-lived perennial (~2 years). Clipping spent flowers is recommended to increase bloom time.

Eriophyllum, erio- is a Greek prefix which indicates wooliness, phylum is derived from the Greek term phyllus, means "leaves" or "foliage" so Eriophyllum indicates wooly leaves.
Lanatum means "covered with long, wooly hair."

Further Resources:
USDA Plant Guide for Common Woolly Sunflower



Photo credit: (top left and right) J.W. Jensen

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1461 Thorn Creek Road, Genesee, Idaho 83832

208.596.9122