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Helianthus debilis (Cucumberleaf sunflower)
Bruso, George H.

Helianthus debilis

Helianthus debilis Nutt.

Cucumberleaf Sunflower, Cucumber-leaf Sunflower, Beach Sunflower

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: HEDE4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The hairy, branched flowering stems, sometimes red/brown mottled, of beach sunflower rise up to 6 ft. above 1-3 ft. long, decumbent stems. Leaves may be entire or shallowly lobed. Flower heads bear yellow rays and reddish discs.


From the Image Gallery

10 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec


USA: AL , CT , FL , GA , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MS , NC , NH , PA , RI , SC , TX , VA , VT , WV
Native Distribution: Coastal areas from NC to FL & TX
Native Habitat: Dunes and disturbed areas throughout coastal areas

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Sandy soils.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-MM-758 Collected 2006-08-11 in Caldwell County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Research Literature

Reslit 997 - Cutting propagation and container production of 'Flora Sun' beach sunflower (2000) J. G. Norcini and J. H. Aldrich
Reslit 1217 - Genome scan of hybridizing sunflowers from Texas (Helianthus annuus and H. debilis) reveals asymmetric patterns of introgression and small islands of genomic differentiation (2010) M. Scascitelli, K. D. Whitney, R. A. Randell, M. K...
Reslit 1229 - Phylogenetic relationships in Helianthus (Asteraceae) based on nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer region sequence data (1998) E. E. Schilling, C. R. Linder, R. D. Noyes and L. ...
Reslit 1503 - Adaptive introgression of herbivore resistance traits in the weedy sunflower Helianthus annuus (2006) K. D. Whitney, R. A. Randell and L. H. Rieseberg
Reslit 1683 - Callus development and plant regeneration from different explants of six wild species of sunflower (Helianthus L.) (1992) M. S. Punia and N. E. Bohorova
Reslit 1785 - First report of a 'Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris'-related strain associated with little leaf disease of Helianthus debilis in Florida, USA (2008) N. A. Harrison and E. E. Helmick
Reslit 1975 - Helianthus annuus ssp. texanus has chloroplast DNA and nuclear ribosomal RNA genes of Helianthus debilis ssp. cucumerifolius (1990) L. H. Rieseberg, S. Beckstromsternberg and K. Doan
Reslit 2022 - Pollinator efficiency of some insects in relation to wild species populations of Helianthus L (1997) S. Meynie and R. Bernard
Reslit 2062 - Transfer of Powdery Mildew Resistance from Helianthus debilis Nutt. to Cultivated Sunflower (1985) C. C. Jan and J. M. Chandler
Reslit 2124 - Evaluation of Cucumberleaf Sunflower, Helianthus debilis Nutt for Beautification and Erosion Control on Coastal Areas (1982) R. M. Craig and D. C. Smith

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

Additional resources

USDA: Find Helianthus debilis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Helianthus debilis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Helianthus debilis


Record Modified: 2022-12-28
Research By: TWC Staff

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