False Sunflower, Rough Heliopsis, Orange Sunflower, Ox-Eye 'Summer Sun'

Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra

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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Constantine, Michigan

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Baudette, Minnesota

Cleveland, Mississippi

Walnut Grove, Missouri

Lincoln, Nebraska

Brooklyn, New York

Chester, New York

Edgeley, North Dakota

Lynchburg, Ohio

Norristown, Pennsylvania

South Jordan, Utah

Concrete, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

Buckhannon, West Virginia

Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin

Iola, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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 c... read more


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.


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!


On May 28, 2007, Marilynbeth wrote:

I love this flower! Sunny, cheerful and beautiful!


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.)


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.


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.


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!


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.