Leaf blades ovate, 8-12(-15) × 4-8(-12) cm, abaxial faces glabrous or sparsely pubescent, adaxial faces glabrous or minutely scabrellous. Flowering late spring-summer. Open woods, thickets, marshes, meadows, road banks, and waste places; 0-800 m; Ont.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Mich., Miss., Mo., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Found throughout the state, preferring open areas and moist soils. It is most frequently found in open woodland in the alluvial bottoms along streams and along roadsides. I have it from 47 counties, and I find that my specimens are highly variable, and I am not able to divide them on the characters given in the manuals. The leaves are not smooth on any of my specimens. All of them are more or less scabrous to the touch either above or beneath. Sometimes the upper surface is more scabrous than the lower, and in other specimens the reverse is true. The width of the largest median leaf varies from 3 to 10 cm. The apex of the leaves varies from acuminate to short-acute. The margins are variously cut, and the number of teeth is exceedingly variable. The petioles of the median leaves are from 1 to 4 cm long. The stems of all of my specimens are comparatively smooth, only rarely with a somewhat scabrous internode. The heads vary from less than 1 cm to 2 cm wide and are very variable on the same plant. The number of heads varies from one to many. The crown of the achene varies in height and smoothness. Heliopsis scabra Dunal has been often reported from the state, and I have two specimens, one from Hamilton County and one from Tipton County, that some authors might refer to this species. While this species in its extremes seems to be distinct, I believe that all Indiana material should be referred to one highly variable complex. The descriptions of the two species by different authors show that the differences between them are slight and that there are exceptions to these differences. My plants with largest leaves, longest petioles, and smoothest leaves are from deep woodland, and those with the smallest and most scabrous leaves are from prairie habitats, although larger intermediates are also found in prairie habitats. Nieuwland, however, on June 24, 1909, found a specimen of what I would call the typical form of Heliopsis scabra Dunal along the Grand Trunk Railroad, St. Joseph County. I am regarding this specimen as a migrant and we have no record that other plants were left and perpetuated themselves.