Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Helianthus strumosus (Paleleaf woodland sunflower)
Brundage, Stephanie

Helianthus strumosus

Helianthus strumosus L.

Paleleaf Woodland Sunflower, Paleleaf Sunflower, Woodland Sunflower

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Helianthus montanus, Helianthus saxicola


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

The stout, erect stem of pale-leaf woodland sunflower is branched toward the top and grows to 7 ft. tall. Narrow, oval leaves are up to 8 in. long and whitish underneath. Yellow flower heads on branches from a smooth or slightly rough main stem. Flower heads occur in loose clusters at branch tips. Each of the perennialís yellow flower heads is 2-4 in. across.

This is one of approximately 20 species of sunflowers with yellow disc flowers in eastern North America.


From the Image Gallery

8 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 7 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: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , ON , QC
Native Distribution: ME & Ont. to MN, s. to GA & LA
Native Habitat: Dry, open, upland woods; woodland edges

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Dry soils.


Use Wildlife: Seed heads attract birds.
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.


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

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Evergreen privacy hedge and drought-resistant garden
July 21, 2008
I am looking for a hardy evergreen hedge for privacy in Northern Michigan. I have sandy soil. Also am interested in planting a drought garden with mostly sun in same sandy soil.
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

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


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

Go back