Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to Oregon and Nevada, east to the Rocky Mountains.
Habitat: Dry, open woods and meadows from low to middle elevations.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Perennial from a branching, short, woody base, the stems clustered, 2-10 dm. tall, covered with stiff, short hairs.
Leaves mostly opposite along the stem, scabrous, lanceolate to elliptic, triple-nerved, up to 15 cm. long and 5 cm. wide, the lowermost ones oblanceolate and smaller.
Heads mostly solitary, the disk 1.5-3 cm. wide; involucral bracts lance-linear, in several series, scabrous, with hairs along the edges; rays usually about 13, 2-4.5 cm. long, yellow; disk flowers numerous, yellow; receptacle chaffy throughout; pappus of several short scales and 2 persistent awns.
Achenes clasped by the inner involucral bracts.
The two awns on the achenes of Helianthella are persistant; those on Helianthus are readily deciduous.