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Helianthus simulans (Muck sunflower)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Helianthus simulans

Helianthus simulans E.E. Watson

Muck Sunflower, Narrow-leaved Sunflower, Swamp Sunflower

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: HESI2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Daisy-like flowers occur on the many branch tips of this 3-8 ft. perennial. The petals are yellow and the centers purplish-red. Leaves are long, narrow, firm and hairy.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 8 feet tall.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Yellow
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: AR , FL , GA , LA , TX
Native Distribution: PA to extreme s. IN & s. MO, s. to FL & e. TX
Native Habitat: Wet to moist, open or shady places

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Moist to fully saturated soils.
Conditions Comments: This species is usually too tall and gangly for use in a regular garden. It works best in muddy soils along ponds where it stays more compact and colonizes densely, making brilliant swaths of gold. One-third of the growth can be removed in early summer to encourage more bushiness and flowers.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

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


Description: Excellent germination occurs with seeds that have been refrigerated over winter. Stem cuttings can be taken before flowering, but the easiest method of increase in to divide the clump in early spring.
Seed Collection: Nutlets usually mature 2-3 weeks after flowering. To beat finched to the seeds, secure a small bag around seeds heads after the flowers fade. Air-dry collected seed heads, separate nutlets from chaff, and store in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Commercially Avail: yes

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.

Web Reference

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

Additional resources

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


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

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