False Sunflower, Rough Heliopsis, Orange Sunflower, Ox-Eye

Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Heliopsis (hee-lee-OP-sis) (Info)
Species: helianthoides var. scabra
Synonym:Heliopsis helianthoides subsp. scabra
Synonym:Heliopsis minor
Synonym:Heliopsis scabra
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

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

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:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Calistoga, California

Seymour, Connecticut

Mapleton, Illinois

Greenville, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

Lansing, Kansas

Ellicott City, Maryland

Frederick, Maryland

Newton Highlands, Massachusetts

Blissfield, Michigan

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan

Mason, Michigan

Young America, Minnesota

Republic, Missouri

Little Falls, New York

Cambridge, Ohio

Dalton, Ohio

Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Jonesville, South Carolina

Center, Texas

Linden, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 14, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I refer to this H. helianthoides scabra as the Rough Oxeye or Rough False-Sunflower because its leaves have a roughness to them from little hairs, thus being "scabrous." The leaves are a little more narrow than the straight species of H. helianthoides helianthoides, that I refer to as the Smooth Oxeye or Smooth False-Sunflower, that has smooth or barely rough leaves. The several cultivars are derived from this Rough variety. Both varieties are pretty, reliable, and easy to grow. If one grows this Rough Oxeye in a classic perennial border, it should be dug up, divided, and reset every three to four years to keep it in neat form. If either variety is used in a naturalistic patch, one does not have to do this.


On Jun 8, 2012, BorealMax from HOVLAND, MN wrote:

In response to the gardener who had trouble with aphids and powdery mildew on heliopsis, Try thinning out the plants for better air circulation and avoid spraying the leaves when watering to reduce powdery mildew. Getting rid of aphids with a vigorous hosing-down with water and then hosing down the soil beneath the plant where they drop, should help because aphids can't find their way back up the plant... they were born there in the first place. The hosing-down should be done in early morning on a sunny day to let the plant leaves and stems dry out, otherwise powdery mildew will result. I hope that helps.


On Apr 21, 2011, Ithiel wrote:

This plant volunteered its self in a rather shady area underneath a tall pine tree about 4 years ago. It usually got a few blooms on it there around August, so I left it in that spot for a couple of years before moving it to a sunnier spot last year and it really took off. It grew 3-4' tall and was covered in flowers from July until October even in less than ideal conditions. Somewhat slow to rise in the spring but it grows and an unbelievable rate once it breaks through the soil.


On Sep 1, 2010, Judy823 from Newton Highlands, MA wrote:

Our Heliopsis has been growing in the minimal soil in front of out fence for more than 10 years. It creates a FANTASTIC display and passing motorists have stopped and asked the name of the plant. It comes back year after year on its own and in ever-more dense clusters. It, with the Tiger Lily, is the quintessential perennial.
However, every August it becomes covered with red aphids. They line every stem. The leaves then become covered with a powdery white mildew or fungus. It is extremely ugly and we have to rip them out by the end of August even though the plant is still trying to grow and flower.
We have tried Neem at great expense but with absolutely no efficacy. I have had a little more luck against the aphids
with a home-made soap/red pepper/garlic/oil solution.... read more


On Jun 20, 2009, stormyla from Norristown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

These plants grow and flower very well in part shade and also in bright full shade. They are impervious to Juglone and will flower nicely all summer. This is a wonderful bright bloom for a shade garden.


On Oct 16, 2008, critterologist from Frederick, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is one of the few perennials to flower the first year from winter sown seed! It will get larger and taller the next year or two, so give it room.

Mine is at the front of a bed because I grew it from mislabeled seed for a much shorter plant (in fact, the first year I sent out seed from it without knowing its name, so I called it "Not Chocolate Daisy" or "Too Tall to be Chocolate Daisy" and then described it).

It is a blooming machine from June until frost, with flowers that are a little more lemon-yellow (not so gold) than the black-eyed susans it reminds me of.


On Mar 12, 2007, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is one of those members of the daisy group that, along with members of the carrot group, like fennel, play host to tiny predatious hover flies and wasps that rein in activities of various caterpillar species. A border that includes these plants naturalized somewhere in the vicinity of an organic vegetable garden can contribute to the complexity of life that nurtures balance between "bad guys" (prey) and "good guys" (predators) (purely from human point of view).


On Aug 1, 2003, IndigoGardens wrote:

It's a very easy perennial and it even flowers good in the half shade.


On Jan 22, 2003, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is another one of those plants that gives you a lot of bang for your money. It just goes & goes ... like the energizer bunny. Plants are well behaved, it stays in a neat clump, and the stems are sturdy. The bright yellow daisies are a real eye-catcher in the garden. It just seems to ALWAYS look good. My only problem has been a population of red aphids that seem to find it irresistable. However, they don't pose much of a threat and they are easily taken care of.


On Nov 15, 2000, jody from MD &, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This species of Heliopsis (depending on cultivar)will grow to about 3' to 5' tall and 2' to 3' in width. Flowers are yellow and have single, semi double or double flowers and bloom in late summer. 'Light of Loddon' have double flowers. Best cultivated in sun, rich, well drained soil but will tolerate poor conditions. Deadhead to promote more flowering, cut back to ground in fall. Propagate from seed, division, or cuttings. Hardy zones 4-9.