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HELENIUM autumnale

Image of Helenium autumnale

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

HELENIUM autumnale

Plant Common Name

Common Sneezeweed

General Description

The daisies of common sneezeweed are summer-blooming and come in an array of harvest colors. It is a tall, hardy perennial that naturally exist across the whole of North America, save Alaska and some of the northernmost regions of Canada. In the wild, it grows primarily in open grasslands.

This clump-forming perennial has medium green leaves that are fuzzy and lance-shaped. In summer it puts forth tall, leafy stems that produce clusters of colorful daisies from late summer through fall. These are highly attractive to butterflies and rebloom more readily if deadheaded. The seedheads that follow are filled with seeds that are eaten by wild birds, so consider leaving some towards the end of the season.

Sun loving and tough, sneezeweed must be planted in sites with high light and average to fertile soil with good drainage. The plants can become quite tall and often need staking. If pinched back in late spring to early summer they will achieve a more compact habit and denser flower clusters. This is an easy and pretty wildflower for informal beds or naturalistic plantings.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Width

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    North America, Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Orange

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes