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Helenium autumnale - L.

Common Name Sneezeweed, Common sneezeweed, Fall sneezeweed, Mountain sneezeweed, False Sunflower
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 3-8
Known Hazards The plant is poisonous to ruminants[222]. Contact with the plant might cause dermatitis in sensitive people[222].
Habitats Wet meadows and marshes[187]. Rich thickets, meadows and shores[43]. Low, moist calcareous soils in Texas[274].
Range Eastern N. America - Quebec to Florida, west to Manitoba and Arizona.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Helenium autumnale Sneezeweed, Common sneezeweed, Fall sneezeweed, Mountain sneezeweed, False Sunflower


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Helenium autumnale Sneezeweed, Common sneezeweed, Fall sneezeweed, Mountain sneezeweed, False Sunflower

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Brown, Orange, Red, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early fall, Late summer. Form: Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Helenium autumnale is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.8 m (6ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 3. It is in flower from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies).
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Alterative  Cancer  Laxative  Sternutatory

The dried nearly mature flower heads are used in a powdered form as a snuff to treat colds and headaches[207, 222, 257]. When made into a tea they are used in the treatment of intestinal worms[222]. The powdered leaves are sternutatory[222, 257]. An infusion of the leaves is laxative and alterative[207]. An infusion of the stems has been used as a wash in the treatment of fevers[257]. The plant contains helenalin, a compound that has shown significant anti-tumour activity[222].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Insecticide

The plant contains helenalin, a compound that has insecticidal properties, though it is also toxic to fish and worms[222].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Massing, Seashore. Grows well in ordinary garden soil[1, 111], succeeding in most conditions other than boggy soils[233]. It prefers a fertile moisture retentive soil[200] in a sunny position[108, 111]. Dislikes dry soil[200]. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233]. A good bee and butterfly plant[30]. A very ornamental plant[1], some named forms have been selected for their ornamental value[187]. Special Features: North American native, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Wetlands plant, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed it might be worthwhile trying a sowing in mid to late spring in situ outdoors[111]. Cuttings of soft wood from the base of the plant, June/July in a frame. Basal cuttings in spring[200]. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 - 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn[111]. This needs to be done fairly regularly because the clumps soon become congested[233]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Helenium amarumBitter Sneezeweed, SneezeweedAnnual0.6 0-0  LMHNM010
Helenium hoopesiiOwls Claws, Orange SneezeweedPerennial0.9 4-8 MLMHSNM111
Helenium puberulumRosillaAnnual/Perennial1.5 7-10  LMHNM11 
Inula heleniumElecampane, Elecampane inulaPerennial1.5 4-8  LMHSNM332

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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