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HELENIUM amarum

Image of Helenium amarum

Mark A. Miller

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

HELENIUM amarum

Plant Common Name

Bitter Sneezeweed, Fine-leaved Sneezeweed, Yellowdicks

General Description

Appearing along roadsides, meadows and the marginal open areas, yellowdicks or bitter sneezeweed is a modestly pretty wildflower with fine, needle-like leaves and bright yellow daisies. A perennial native to the eastern United States, it is tough, easy to grow and is not favored by foraging animals. In fact, dairy cows that have eaten even small amounts of bitter sneezeweed will develop bitter tasting milk.

The green to maroon stems of this wildflower are lined in long, thin, bright green leaves. From midsummer to frost, they become covered with bright yellow daisies. Each has a large, bulbous center of yellow or brown surrounded by a ring of three-lobed petals. The flowers attract both bees and butterflies and are followed by dark brown seedheads that provide seed to hungry songbirds.

Grow bitter sneezeweed in full sun and gritty, well-drained soil with average fertility. It has a tendency to gently self sow and is quite carefree once established. This is a true wildflower that is ideal for roadside plantings and naturalistic meadow gardens. The selection 'Dakota Gold' has a neater, more mounded habit and larger flowers, so it is more suitable for home gardens.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm

  • Width

    12"-20" / 30.5cm - 50.8cm

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    North America, United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, Central United States, South-Central United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Lemon Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes