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Click for a full page photograph of a Heliomeris multiflora meadow.

Heliomeris multiflora
Heliomeris multiflora.  Synonym: Viguiera multiflora (Goldeneye)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine.  Disturbed areas, openings, meadows.  Summer, fall.
Sneffels Highline Trail, August 4, 2004.

Often growing in small bushy clumps, this bright sunflower is long-lived and abundant in summer and fall mountain meadows, frequently brightening many acres. It is also very common along roadsides.  Its long, narrow leaves are almost an olive drab. Flowers start with a green central disk and tiny green rays, gradually changing to golden disks and golden-yellow rays.

"Helios" is Greek for "sun" and "meris" for "part of".

William Gambel collected the first specimen of this plant, probably in the 1840s, and it was named Heliomeris multiflora in 1848 by his mentor, Thomas Nuttall.  Weber and the Synthesis accept this name.   S. F. Blake renamed the plant Viguiera multiflora in 1918 and that is the name that Intermountain Flora accepts. Alexandre L. Viguier, 1790-1867, was a physician and botanist in Montpellier, Vermont.

Heliomeris multiflora
Heliomeris multiflora.  Synonym: Viguiera multiflora (Goldeneye)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine.  Disturbed areas, openings, meadows.  Summer, fall.
Little Taylor Creek Trail, August 20, 2007.

Heliomeris multiflora

Heliomeris multiflora

Heliomeris multiflora.  Synonym: Viguiera multiflora (Goldeneye)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine.  Disturbed areas, openings, meadows.  Summer, fall.
Kilpacker Trail, August 29, 2005 and October 8, 2012.

As you might have noticed on the trail, Heliomeris multiflora's central disk of flowers looks quite green and dark when young and then quite golden-yellow when it matures.  The close-up of a maturing flower at top left shows why: stamens emerge from the multitude of tiny central disk tubular flowers and then yellow pollen tips the stamens and gives the maturing flower an increasingly golden-yellow appearance which is added to by the maturing golden ray flowers.

In the bottom photograph, the mature disk flowers are quite golden and the individual petals of the outer ray flowers have withered and fallen -- except for a few withered petals in the lower right.

Click for a full page photograph of a Heliomeris multiflora meadow.

Heliomeris multiflora
Heliomeris multiflora.  Synonym: Viguiera multiflora(Goldeneye)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine.  Disturbed areas, openings, meadows.  Summer, fall.
Horse Creek Trail, August 24, 2004.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Heliomeris multiflora