This exhibit provides a sample of the more attractive yellow flowering plants that have been recorded on Little River Canyon National Preserve. A more complete display of all flowering plants photographed for the Preserve is provided in the complete exhibit of " Plants of Little River Canyon National Preserve".
Midwestern Tickseed Sunflower produces a yellow flower that appears between August and October. The plant is usually found growing in shaded moist areas. This sunflower has evolved a creative and effective means of seed distribution. The fruits are bristly and barbed, and adhere to clothing, fur and feathers, which it is then carried into new and far ranging habitats.
Lookout Mountain Coreopsis is an imperiled endemic plant only found in northeast Alabama. The plant produces yellow flowers that appear from June to September. This plant is restricted to sandstone outcrops on the Preserve, which is considered a rare community type. The thin thread-like leaves aide the plant in conserving water and surviving in this extreme desert-like environment
Bitterweed produces a yellow flower that appears from May to December. The weed is often found growing in overgrazed pastures and along roadsides. Because cows milk from animals eating this plant has a bitter taste, it was given the name bitterweed. Native American used this plant in their religious ceremonies. They used the powdered heads as a snuff to induce violent sneezing to affect the release of evil spirits from the body.
Longleaf Sunflower produces yellow flowers that appear from August to October. This sunflower is restricted to the borders of sandstone and granite outcrops throughout its' range in northeast Alabama and Georgia. On the Preserve, it is found within and along the edge of the sandstone outcrop rare community type. The Nature Conservancy considers this sunflower critically imperiled in Alabama.
Hairy Sunflower produces yellow flowers that appear from July to October. It is usually found growing in dry woodlands and open areas, especially barrens. Sunflowers characteristically face the sun. Because the side of the stem in the shade grows faster, it causes the sunflower head to turn directly into the sun.
Small-headed Sunflower produces yellow flowers that appear from July to October. This sunflower is commonly found along roadsides and woodlands across most of the Eastern United States. Sunflower seeds high in proteins and minerals are one of the primary bird foods grown and sold across the country.
Tulip Tree produces yellow flowers in the upper canopy from April to June. This tree is found on moist well-drained sites, especially along streams, bottoms, lower upland slopes and rich cove forests. Tulip Tree is one of the primary species of the old growth cove forests of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. It can grow 190 feet tall, 10 feet in diameter and reach 500 years in age.
Southern Sundrops produces yellow flowers that appear from April to August. They can be found on both wet and dry soils, particularly rocky places and open woodlands. Sundrops is the only primrose that opens during the day and closes at night and on cloudy days. Other primroses are pollinated by moths and open at night and close early in the day.
Southern Yellow Wood Sorrel produces yellow flowers that appear from February to May. This plant is considered a cosmopolitan weed and is found throughout the region. Wood sorrel is rich in vitamin C, and has been a popular addition to salads and as a treatment for scurvy. More recently, high levels of oxalic acid in wood sorrel have been found to inhibit calcium absorption and result in harmful medical problems.
Green Pitcher Plant produces a yellow flower that appears in April and May. This pitcher plant is federally listed as an endangered species. They grow in seepy meadows, poorly drained oak-pine flatwoods, and sandy banks of streams. This carnivorous plant has leaves that have evolved into a funnel or pitcher shape in order to trap insects. The plant attracts insect prey with secretions of extrafloral nectaries, leaf color and scent. Insects fall into the pitcher tube and are digested by the plant.
Yellow Sunnybell produces yellow flowers that appear from March to May. They are usually found growing on sandy soils and swampy ground. On the Preserve, Yellow Sunnybell is restricted to the sandstone outcrop rare plant community type. During early spring when water is abundant on the outcrops, this plant forms a sheet of yellow color across the rocky surface
Appalachian Ragwort produces yellow flowers that appear in May and June. The plant is usually found growing in uplands, meadows, pastures, roadsides and dry open woodlands. Native Americans used this plant to treat heart trouble and prevent pregnancy. The plant also contains toxins and cancer-causing compounds harmful to humans.
Common Mullein produces yellow flowers from June to September. This non-native densely woolly plant can be found along roadsides and disturbed areas. Smoking the leaves is considered a folk remedy for treating coughs and asthma. In the past, the stout stalks dipped in tallow were used for extended candlelight.
Southern Crownbeard produces yellow flowers during August and September. The plant is commonly encountered in moist woodlands, thickets and waste areas. These plants have the strong disagreeable odor of rotting meat or a skunk. Historically, crownbeard was used as salves and ointments applied to the skin.
Constructed, written and photography by Bill Garland, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama