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White Mule's Ears, White Wyethia, White-rayed Wyethia - Wyethia helianthoides


Family: Asteraceae - Aster family Genus Common Name: Mule Ears Native Status: Native
Wyethia helianthoides - White Mule's Ears, White Wyethia, White-rayed Wyethia. The plants of the Wyethia (Mule-ears) genus is found in the western part of the United States. There are 10 classified species, of which two are hybrids. Only three of these are found in Idaho, where these photos are taken. Two of the pure species, Wyethia amplexicaulis and this one, W. Helianthoides, hybridize to form the third classified species found in Idaho, W. Xcusickii.

While White Mule's Ears is a relatively low-growing plant, usually less than 24 inches tall, with the long leaves for which the genus gets its common name being up to 16 inches long.

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Wyethia helianthoides

Distribution of Wyethia helianthoides in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 23 Oct 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Challis National Forest, Custer County, ID Date: 2010-June-13Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
The Wyethia genus is in the Asteraceae family, and W. helianthoides has white ray flowers and yellow disk flowers.
Wyethia helianthoides

Site: Challis National Forest, Custer County, ID Date: 2010-June-13Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The blossom of White Mule's Ears are large perhaps 3 inches or more across and have a large central disk relative to the blossom size.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Wyethia helianthoides

Site: Challis National Forest, Custer County, ID Date: 2010-June-13Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The leaf of Wyethia helianthoides can be up to 16 inches long, and is on a relatively short petiole. It is covered with small hairs. The leaf shape is what gives the genus its Mule's ears common name.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Wyethia helianthoides

Site: Challis National Forest, Custer County, ID Date: 2010-June-13Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
1/500f/11
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
White Mule's Ears can grow in large, dense colonies in moist meadows, creating a beautiful display.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Wyethia helianthoides

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer