Oregon Sunshine

Oregon sunshine (Eriophyllum lanatum) is a cheerful golden-yellow wildflower that grows in profusion and brightens dry lands in the western states. Oregon sunshine blossoms are composed of the rays and discs, both yellow, common to members of the sunflower or Asteraceae family.

Also knows as wooly sunflower, because of the wooly hairs that usually cover the leaves and stems, Oregon sunshine is a native perennial. The leaves at the top of the stems are linear while the lower leaves are pinnately lobed, often so much so that these lower leaves are irregular in shape. The hairs covering the leaves help conserve water by reflecting heat and reducing the drying movement of air across the leaf surface. The scientific genus name refers to these hairs: “erio” from the Greek for “wool” and “phyllum”, the Greek for “leaf”. The species name “lanatum”,  meaning hairy, also refers to this trait.

I am unaware of any culinary or medicinal uses for Oregon sunshine. But Oregon sunshine does bring “sunshine” to the dry, sandy soils and rocky slopes and bluffs of the West.

These wildflowers were photographed along Highway 299E west of Fall River Mills CA (Shasta County).

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