Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: California sunflower
Helianthus californicus

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Helianthus (hee-lee-AN-thus) (Info)
Species: californicus (kal-ih-FOR-nik-us) (Info)

View this plant in a garden


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

Unknown - Tell us

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are good for cutting

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us


1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive JeffreyCaldwell On Aug 17, 2012, JeffreyCaldwell from Waldon, CA wrote:

Easy to grow; considered garden invasive by slowly spreading rhizomes; certainly gets quite large! A large specimen in full bloom is spectacular. Grows well in Sunset Zone 17 (coastal central California, especially along San Francisco Bay); likes good drainage, not too dry a site -- in the wild often takes the transition zone between the riparian willows and typical upland brush, or some sort of a somewhat moist situation. With irrigation it grows well in Sunset Zones 7-16, 19-24. Endemic to California and Baja California; seems to be a good nectar plant and quail and other birds love the seeds. In the wild, California sunflower often grows near water; it is one of the species extirpated through the loss of wetland areas -- an historically common, but now rare species that is important for wildlife. It flowers from July to October.

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