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Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp sunflower)

Helianthus angustifolius Photo/Illustration: C. Dwayne Jones


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Helianthus angustifolius hee-lee-AN-thus an-gus-tih-FOE-lee-us Common Name: Swamp sunflower Genus: Helianthus
A profusion of golden yellow flowers appears for two to three weeks starting in early autumn. Daisy-like flowerheads are 3 inches across with 15 to 20 yellow ray florets radiating from a flat-topped purple or dark brown cone. The entire plant looks like a giant flame, drawing the attention of gardeners and many species of butterflies, bees, and other nectar feeders.
Noteworthy characteristics: This tall U.S. native is great for a perennial border, meadow, or butterfly garden.
Care: Grow in full sun and moist but well-drained, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil. Needs ample moisture. May require support.
Propagation: Divide in spring or autumn. Root basal cuttings in spring. Or start from seed.
Problems: Common: downy mildew, powdery mildew, canker, rust, and many fungal leaf spots. Also susceptible to damage from caterpillars, cutworms, beetles, and weevils.
Height 3 ft. to 6 ft.;6 ft. to 10 ft.
Spread 3 ft. to 6 ft.
Growth Habit Clumps
Growth Pace Moderate Grower
Light Full Sun Only
Moisture Medium Moisture
Maintenance Moderate
Characteristics Attracts Birds; Attracts Butterflies; Native; Showy Flowers
Bloom Time Fall
Flower Color Yellow Flower
Uses Beds and Borders, Cut Flower
Style Meadow Garden
Seasonal Interest Fall Interest
Type Perennials

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