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Heliopsis helianthoides (L.) Sweet
Smooth Oxeye, Oxeye Sunflower, False Sunflower
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
USDA Symbol: HEHE5
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
A common, 3-5 ft. perennial with stiff, branched stems; sunflower-like heads; and opposite, toothed leaves. Resembling a small version of a yellow sunflower with a cone-shaped central disc and opposite, toothed, simple leaves. The yellow flower heads are 2 in. across and have raised, yellow centers.
This plant looks like true sunflowers, which are in the genus Helianthus. Unlike sunflowers, its rays persist on the flower heads; the rays of sunflowers wither and fall away. It is placed in Heliopsis due to its cone-shaped central disc. Oxeye is hardy and easily grown as a showy garden perennial in dry sites and is a good choice for clay soil.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Size Notes: Up to about 5 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
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV
Canada: MB , ON , QC , SK
Native Distribution: S. Que. to FL, w. to s.e. B.C. & NM; naturalized northeastward
Native Habitat: Moist to dry, open woodlands; prairies; fields
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: An undemanding plant which provides excellent, mid-summer color. Eastern plants belong to var. helianthoides; those in the West are var. scabra.
Value to Beneficial InsectsSupports Conservation Biological Control
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Easily propagated by seed in fall or early spring. Large clumps of ox-eye can be divided, but it is difficult.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
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:
Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, The - Valhalla, NY
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
United States Botanic Garden - Washington, DC
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 928 - 100 easy-to-grow native plants for Canadian gardens (2005) Johnson, L.; A. Leyerle
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
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 Heliopsis helianthoides in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Heliopsis helianthoides in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Heliopsis helianthoides
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-12-28
Research By: TWC Staff