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This erect perennial is 2 to 5 feet tall with numerous elongated leaves and flower heads appearing late summer through fall. Yellow, daisy-like flowers with fan-shaped, drooping rays feature center-disk flowers that form a rounded, greenish-yellow structure. It requires damp soils and full sun to thrive. Cut back in early summer to increase branching and number of flowers. 


Sneezeweed, one of its common names, refers to the practice of using the dried leaves to make snuff, which was inhaled to cause sneezing that would rid the body of evil spirits. The genus is thought to have been named by Linnaeus for Helen of Troy. According to legend, the flowers sprang up from the ground where Helen's tears fell.


Resistant to deer and poor or wet soils. 


Plant Characteristics:

Grows 2-5' tall. 


Prefers full or part sun.


Prefers average to rich, moist to wet soils, including clay.


Flowers have raised centers and wedge-shaped petals with three-toothed tips. Blooms July-October.


Stalkless, simple, alternate leaves are 3-6" long. Stem is winged. 


Wildlife Value:

Host plant for 7 Lepidoptera larvae, including blackberry looper moth, white-dotted groundling, and the cobbler moth.


Caution: All parts of the plant are toxic if eaten in large quantities.

Yellow Helen, Helenium autumnale

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