Canyon Sunflower, as the name suggests, grows in shady canyon areas in addition to other moist areas in coastal sage scrub, oak woodland and chaparral below 3000 feet. With adequate moisture, the green leaves will be lush and the bright and showy flowers bloom all year. This plant grows as a shrub to about five feet, and generally flowers during the cooler periods of spring, fall and early winter. It does not tolerate frost below 20 degrees, but can grow back from frost damage.
Venegasia carpesioides is named after Padre Miguel Venegas, and “Carpesium” a plant whose flower heads the Canyon Sunflower resembles.
The top photos are of a Canyon Sunflower bush found in the canyon along Refugio Road. The flower on the right was photographed on More Mesa.