Come! Ms. Dunlap will give two talks at the CNPS Conservation Conference Feb. 1-3 in LA!

One regarding a database of 3,700 nectar plants (& how to collect images to benefit pollinators), and the other regarding
a prototypical key incorporating a novel plant identification system that produced an order of magnitude improvement.

Helianthus laevigatus

Family: Asteraceae


Synonym: Helianthus mollis

Native to: Northeastern United States To Georgia And Texas

Sentiment: false riches


Type: perennial

Form: erect

Max height: 6.6 feet

Max width: 3.3 feet


secondary color present, yellow




Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly, bird, specific butterfly species

Plant part consumed by birds: seeds

Exposure: sun

Propagates by: seed

flowers in fall

flowers in summer

Soil type: well drained

USDA Zones: zone 4 -30 f, zone 5 to -20 f, zone 6 to -10 f, zone 7 to 0 f, zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f

Temp. range: -30 to +30 °F

Water: moist, regular

Helianthus, or SUNFLOWER, a member of the Compositae (Aster) family with 85 species, is a wildlife favorite, as squirrels, birds, and butterflies all enjoy this plant. They grow in Zones 4-9 and prefer regular watering. There are at least six species in cultivation and numerous cultivars. Helianthus angustifolius, laevigatus, maximiliani, and occidentalis are cultivated perennials that grow from seed. Helianthus annus, as the name suggests, is an annual.

Helianthus laevigatus, ASHY SUNFLOWER, grows to 6 1/2' tall and 3 1/2' wide in Zones 4-9, and is native to the Northeastern United States to Georgia and Texas. It is a perennial that prefers regular watering or moist watering, but may prefer well drained soil. Grow it in full sun, or in a very bright sunny spot that may get light shade in late afternoon. It produces large yellow flowers in summer and fall. Try it in a container? Why not. A big one.

In addition to the butterflies that nectar on plants in the Compositae family, Helianthus attracts Lycaena editha, EDITH'S COPPER.

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