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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Campanulids
Ordo: Asterales

Familia: Asteraceae
Subfamilia: Asteroideae
Tribus: Heliantheae
Subtribus: Helianthinae
Genus: Phoebanthus
Species: P. grandiflora – P. tenuifolius

Phoebanthus S.F.Blake

Phoebanthus, called the false sunflower, is a genus of North American plants in the sunflower tribe within the daisy family.[1][2]

Phoebanthus includes two species of herbaceous perennials that are both native to the southeastern United States The genus is a close relative of Helianthus, the genus of the common sunflower, and the plants have the general appearance of a sunflower.

Phoebanthus is characterized by having a pappus of short scales that are usually persistent (don't fall off) compared to the pappus of two deciduous awns (and sometimes a few scales) in Helianthus, and Phoebanthus is also characterized by a distinctive type of slender, horizontal tuber that forms the perennating organ.


Phoebanthus tenuifolius is a diploid that occurs in a relatively small area in the panhandle area of Florida, where it occurs in only 4 counties (Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, and Liberty) and it is listed by the state as a "Threatened Species". It has also been reported from Escambia County in Alabama.[6]
Phoebanthus grandiflorus is a tetraploid that occurs in peninsular Florida where it has a somewhat broader distribution from Clay and Alachua counties in the north as far south as the area just north of Lake Okeechobee.

The relationship between the two species has never been closely analyzed, but it does not appear that P. grandiflorus is simply an autotetraploid of P. tenuifolius.[7]


Blake, Sydney Fay. 1916. Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 51(10): 520–521 description in Latin, commentary in English
Tropicos, Phoebanthus S.F. Blake
Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist
Biota of North America Program 2013 county distribution maps
Flora of North America Vol. 21 Page 113 False sunflower, Phoebanthus S. F. Blake, Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts. 51: 520. 1916.
Alabama Plant Atlas Editorial Committee. 2014. Alabama Plant Atlas. [S.M. Landry and K.N. Campbell (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research. University of South Florida]. University of West Alabama, Livingston, Alabama.
Schilling, E. E., C. R. Linder, R. D. Noyes, and L. H. Rieseberg. 1998. Phylogenetic relationships in Helianthus (Asteraceae) based on nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer region sequence data. Systematic Botany 23: 177-187.

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