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Heliopsis helianthoides (smooth oxeye)
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Heliopsis helianthoides

smooth oxeye

This local native sunflower happily naturalizes in moist or dry conditions. Upright and clump forming with bright, 2", single, medium gold flowers for eight weeks, peaking in July. Imagine, a self sowing butterfly magnet, that also doubles as a birdfeeder in the fall. Excellent cut flower!

 

SIZE
Heliopsis helianthoides LP50 - 50 per flat Availability
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Height

4-6 Feet

Spread

3-5 Feet

Spacing

24 Inches

Bloom Color

Yellow

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-9

smooth oxeye Interesting Notes

Beautiful in its simplicity, Heliopsis helianthoides is a common sight in blackland prairies and open woodlands. False sunflower grows 3’-5’ tall and is covered in 2” single gold flowers for eight weeks, peaking in July. Foliage is glaucous and coarse, resembling a clumping shrub-like cross between Helianthus and Rudbeckia. During the summer, you’ll see the flowers blanketed with pollinators and come fall, the seedheads are visited by local songbirds.

H. helianthoides is found in floodplains, fields and at woods' edge in Quebec and British Columbia south to New Mexico and Georgia. It prefers moist, well-drained soil in full sun, but tolerates periods of drought and heavy clay soils. One of its best features is how it happily naturalizes in a broad range of soil conditions, from moist to dry.

False sunflower is considered a short-lived perennial and self-sows readily. For best performance, place in a location where seedlings are encouraged. The plant may require staking, especially in light shade situations. To avoid this or to manage the height, trim back foliage in May. We find it to be a long season performer and oxeye excels in naturalized areas or in the back of a native plant border.

Heliopsis helianthoides Growing and Maintenance Tips

H. helianthoides is found in flood plains, fields and at woods' edge in Quebec and British Columbia south to New Mexico and Georgia. Prefers moist, well-drained soil in full sun, but may tolerate drought. Propagate by cuttings or division every 2-3 years. Staking is necessary especially in shade. Deadhead to extend the blooming season. Best utilized in the back of a border garden to accent lower growing, brightly colored perennials, as well as wildflower and cutting gardens.

 

Good Substitutions

Smooth ox-eye Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra 'Bleeding Hearts'
smooth oxeye Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra 'Burning Hearts'

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun
Moist
Moist
Songbird-friendly
Songbird-friendly
Pollinator-friendly
Pollinator-friendly
Cut Flower
Cut Flower
Summer
Summer

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Average
Green Infrastructure
Meadow/Prairie
Wetland Indicator Status
Obligate Upland (UPL)
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Attributes
Native to North America
Clay Tolerance
Propagation Type
Open pollinated