Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: False Sunflower, Rough Heliopsis, Orange Sunflower, Ox-Eye
Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra 'Summer Sun'

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Heliopsis (hee-lee-OP-sis) (Info)
Species: helianthoides var. scabra
Cultivar: Summer Sun
Additional cultivar information: (aka Sommersonne)

Synonym:Heliopsis helianthoides subsp. scabra
Synonym:Heliopsis minor
Synonym:Heliopsis scabra

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

10 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 19 photos.
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8 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive bobbieberecz On May 13, 2014, bobbieberecz from Concrete, WA wrote:

I've had this plant in a mostly shady spot along a fence. I've only had a few seedlings start, maybe because of the shade. The soil stays quite damp after watering but it is sandy loam and fast draining so the roots are never "soggy". It looks fabulous with one of my blue asters, also a sun loving plant thriving in the same shade. There are a few hours of morning light and both plants stick their heads out of the fence to catch the rays and get their blooms all tangled together. They're truly best friends and beautiful. I decided to dig up the plant as the shade was getting even denser. It rebelled for a couple of weeks last summer, but this year it's growing with wild abandon in it's new sunny spot. Some root must have been left in it's shady spot because there's another healthy clump forming there again. I judge the fabulous factor by the attention a flower gets from visitors. This one always stops people in their tracks with those amazing variegated leaves topped by the brilliant gold flowers. Love this plant. ALL my plants are kept moist, whether they require it or not. I'm a lazy gardener and they have to survive or die. This is definitely a survivor.

BTW....I have the "Sunburst" variety, not "Summer Sun".

Positive JoySwede On Mar 23, 2014, JoySwede from Baudette, MN wrote:

This variety of heliopsis is a workhorse in several of my large flowerbeds. We live on the border of Minnesota and Canada. The plants in our yard get to be about 4-5' tall. Once it starts blooming in early July, the flowers just keep coming until frost. They do look better with deadheading, but I can't keep up with it very well. So they self-seed like crazy. I have given away many clumps to friends and family. I think they are wonderful next to my blue and lavender-colored Pacific Giant Delphiniums and raspberry colored peony-flowered poppies. They are the color that stays all summer when the other perennials come and go.

Positive BlackDogKurt On Sep 18, 2007, BlackDogKurt from Seymour, CT wrote:

This was one of the longest blooming perennials in my garden this year. The individual flowers last an extremely long time, so much so that I never even had to deadhead mine. The only problem that I had was that I did not realize how large this plant would get when I first lanted it, so much so that it crowded out some nearby plants in the second year. It is not invasive, but give it plenty of space -- it will need it. But the blooms are stunning and plentiful -- a sea of yellow all summer long!

Positive Marilynbeth On May 28, 2007, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

I love this flower! Sunny, cheerful and beautiful!

Negative MichelleVQuinn On Aug 7, 2006, MichelleVQuinn from Grand Rapids, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Can't say that I've had much luck with my 2 helios. They are on the south side of my house and don't get a ton of sun...perhaps a change of location would help. They also don't get a ton of water as the UG sprinklers need to be repaired on this side of the house, so I hand/hose water. I've deadheaded them and they actually got worse...look dry brown and lean over (contrary to the 'no-staking necessary' comments.)

Positive KatieLovesDogs On Jul 1, 2006, KatieLovesDogs from Indianapolis, IN wrote:

Heliopsis is one of my favorite workhorses in the garden. It's fairly low maintence and blooms from summer through fall. The color provides a nice complement for my other flowers.

Positive DeeGoods On Aug 8, 2003, DeeGoods from Saint Clair Shores, MI wrote:

Nice flower requires little maintenance. We need to put a cage around it for support. The birds love the seeds. The seeds reseed themselves to the point of being evasive, but can be controlled by deadheading but then the birdies miss out. We always have tons of seedlings to give away. I am in Michigan zone 5.

Positive Magazinewriter On Jun 29, 2003, Magazinewriter from Bloomfield Hills, MI wrote:

Looks great with tall red monarda (beebalm). The space has shade about 1/3 of the day.
Mine doesn't self-seed at all; I wish it did. Or maybe the beebalm is filling all available spaces!

Positive Brimley On Jun 22, 2002, Brimley wrote:

This plant is very hardy. It requires no staking and blooms continually throughout the summer into early fall. If you don't want small clumps of these plants throughout your garden you must either cut the flowers (they make long lasting cut arrangements) or dead head. I had about 20 volunteer plants in my garden this spring from the initial three plants I started with.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Heber Springs, Arkansas
Menifee, California
Seymour, Connecticut
Cordele, Georgia
Lula, Georgia
Cottage Hills, Illinois
Saint Charles, Illinois
Greenville, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana
Ewing, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Silver Spring, Maryland
Dracut, Massachusetts
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Baudette, Minnesota
Cleveland, Mississippi
Walnut Grove, Missouri
Lincoln, Nebraska
Chester, New York
Edgeley, North Dakota
Lynchburg, Ohio
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Concrete, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Buckhannon, West Virginia
Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin
Iola, Wisconsin

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