Caption: Narrowleaf or Swamp Sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius) is a native perennial wildflower that is blooming now on the moist soil of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. The plants grow to a height of 6 to 10 feet and the leaves are narrow as the name implies. The leaves are up to 8 inches long and less than 1 inch wide. The flowers are 2 to 3 inches in diameter. They are one of the last plants to bloom in the growing season. Because they bloom so late, they are important to pollinating insects. The seed will mature before the tops of the plants are killed by frost. Songbirds feed on the mature seeds.
Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is one of six national wildlife refuges in the Coastal North Carolina National Wildlife Refuges Complex. Pocosin Lakes Visitor Center, located in Columbia, NC, is open 9am to 4pm whenever volunteer staffing is available.