Eriophyllum lanatum, Oregon Sunshine is a perennial herb native to western North America, commonly growing in many dry, open spaces less than 10,000’ in elevation. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil, but it also grows on rocky slopes and bluffs.
The plant can reach up to 2 feet tall and the flower grows in well-branched clumps with stems and leaves covered with a woolly gray hair. The hairs conserve water by reflecting heat and reducing air movement across the leaf’s surface, and give it a dusty gray color.
Oregon Sunshine flowers, blooming from May through September, are yellow and composite, looking like miniature sunflowers, and can get as big as 2” wide.
Its bright blooms always make me feel happy when I see them on the trail.