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Helenium flexuosum Raf.
Purplehead Sneezeweed, Purple-head Sneezeweed
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
Synonym(s): Helenium floridanum, Helenium godfreyi, Helenium nudiflorum
USDA Symbol: HEFL
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (I)
Helenium flexuosum can be identified by its purplish brown ball of disc flowers.
The genus is thought to have been named by Linnaeus for Helen of Troy. The legend is that the flowers sprung up from the ground where her tears fell.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Purple , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NS , ON , QC
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
BenefitUse Medicinal: Dried powdered leaves and flower heads cause violent sneezing. Were formerly used in treatment of colds and congestion. Infusion of leaves used by some Indians as a laxative.
Warning: Toxic to cattle.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Helenium flexuosum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Helenium flexuosum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Helenium flexuosum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-12-27
Research By: TWC Staff