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Helenium

Helenium - Sneezeweed and Helens Flower

Close to 40 species of annuals or perennials indigenous to North and Central America. The common name Sneezeweed ether comes from the past use of some of the species as snuff used to cause sneezing or because the plants bloom around the same time that ragweed does. Some species are low growing but most are tall, erect herbs with yellow, brown to red-brown flower heads produced in summer and fall. The stems typically branch near the uppermost third of the stems. Leaves are produced alternately along the stems and they are most often lancelet in shape with entire to slightly toothed margins and they are often decurrent. The genus Helenium includes many ornamental perennials that make showy additions to the border and most are good for a cutting garden also, the yellow flowering forms have bright cheerful flowers that make an impressive display even when viewed from a distance. They are attractive to bees and invaluable in adding color to the late season garden when most other perennials have finished blooming. Flowering time and plant height can be modified by the shearing of the stems, which also helps limit flopping of the taller specimens. Grow with Phlox paniculata, Aster and Monarda, Solidago and ornamental grasses. Grow in full sun to part shade, in shade p[plants tend to flop, they do well in any relatively fertile, moist to moderately wet garden soil but suffer under dry summer conditions. They can be Propagate by division and cuttings and plants grown from seed will bloom the first year. Most of the perennial species form slowly spreading clumps that can be divided up in spring and division every three years promotes thicker and stronger stems with more flowers. The seeds are relatively small and the seedlings take a few weeks to established themselves but once established plants are fast growing.

The most common species grown are H. autumnale, which has hundreds of named cultivars and H. bigelovii and H. hoopesii. Many of the new cultivars are hybrids involving the three listed species, which have early flowering plants with more attractive foliage and more upright habit.

Code Name Image Price  
HGF5-A9 Helenium autumnale 'Helena Gold'   $2.55
HARG-A2 Helenium autumnale 'Red & Gold Hybrids'   $1.98
93HE-A8 Helenium bigelovii 'Tip Top' Helenium bigelovii 'Tip Top' $3.89