Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bitterweed, Sneezeweed
Helenium tenuifolium

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Helenium (hel-EE-nee-um) (Info)
Species: tenuifolium (ten-yoo-ih-FOH-lee-um) (Info)

2 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

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:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Click thumbnail
to view:

By melody
Thumbnail #1 of Helenium tenuifolium by melody

By melody
Thumbnail #2 of Helenium tenuifolium by melody

By melody
Thumbnail #3 of Helenium tenuifolium by melody

By melody
Thumbnail #4 of Helenium tenuifolium by melody


1 positive
No neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative vicki1948 On May 25, 2010, vicki1948 from Huntsville, TX wrote:

Not a friend to farmers/ranchers...can be toxic to livestock especially sheep...tough plant...can take over a field or pasture

Negative maggie63020 On Jun 30, 2007, maggie63020 from De Soto, MO wrote:

This plant has taken over my horse pasture!

Positive melody On Aug 18, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A cherry little weed that isn't terribly invasive in these parts. It tends to greet you at stop signs and in vacant parking lots.

Called bitterweed for the way it makes milk taste when cows have eaten it, but for the most part , exists without doing any harm.


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

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Benton, Kentucky
Amory, Mississippi
Arlington, Texas
Huntsville, Texas
Princeton, Texas
Waxahachie, Texas

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