Helenium Species, Sneezeweed, Helen's Flower, Dogtooth Daisy

Helenium autumnale

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Helenium (hel-EE-nee-um) (Info)
Species: autumnale (aw-tum-NAH-lee) (Info)



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:



Bright Yellow


Bloom Characteristics:

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

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid 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

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry


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

Los Angeles, California

Washington, District of Columbia

Satellite Beach, Florida

Lula, Georgia

Naperville, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Iowa City, Iowa

Derby, Kansas

Lansing, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Skowhegan, Maine

Lanham, Maryland

Spencer, Massachusetts

Macomb, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota(2 reports)

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Neptune, New Jersey

Ithaca, New York

Glouster, Ohio

Pickerington, Ohio

Florence, Oregon(2 reports)

Portland, Oregon

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Lincoln University, Pennsylvania

Quakertown, Pennsylvania

Provo, Utah

Leesburg, Virginia

Olympia, Washington

Sumas, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 29, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Fantastic summer flowers, especially the hybrids. Especially valuable for getting colors other than yellow in the late summer garden.

Heleniums need consistently moist soils. They are wet soil plants in the wild and are less tolerant of drought than most border plants. Drought stress contributes to their proneness to powdery mildew.

Most cultivars get tall enough to topple over. This can be mitigated by pinching the growing tips towards the end of May. Alternatively, you can cut them back hard later, in midsummer, as hard as 12". You can pinch most stems in May and later give a hard cut to the stems towards the front of the clump, which will help prolong the bloom season and cover the often leafless legs.

Divide in early spring as needed.


On Oct 16, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Becoming more commonly planted in gardens - I just saw a wild patch at O'Brien State Park in Minnesota - it is a single plant that was somewhat beaten up because it was on the edge of a path - it is growing in some grasses near a stream which means that it like wet areas. Can be id by its 3 dents in each petals - not too many other daisies have that.


On Sep 20, 2005, drlith from Lanham, MD wrote:

I grew these from seed started as transplants this spring, and I'm amazed at how large and lovely they are blooming in their first year! They take over at just about the time rudbeckia are fading fast.


On Jan 18, 2005, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Can be grown in any fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. They flower over a long period and are wonderful as cut flowers.

May cause severe discomfort if ingested and contact with foliage may aggravate skin allergies.


On Jan 17, 2005, JodyC from Palmyra, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Probably the most common visitors to the flowers are long-tongued bees, including honeybees, bumblebees, Miner bees, and large Leaf-Cutting bees. Other visitors include wasps, butterflies, bee flies, and beetles. These insects seek nectar or collect pollen, although some beetles eat the pollen. The caterpillars of Papaipema rigida (Rigid Sunflower Borer Moth) bore through the stems and eat the pith. Mammalian herbivores usually don't feed on this plant because the foliage is toxic and bitter. There have been reports of severe poisoning for livestock that have consumed this plant, which produces such symptoms as congestion of the kidneys and liver, formation of necrotic areas in the lungs, and irritation of the digestive tract. Not surprisingly, this plant is considered an 'increaser' in gr... read more


On Jun 2, 2002, talinum from Kearney, NE (Zone 5a) wrote:

The best growth occurs in full sun and moist soil. Dry conditions accelerate powdery mildew. Most cultivars need to be staked. It should be cut back one-half to two-thirds after blooming. Divide the root clump every 3 years. It can be pinched in May to June to keep it smaller.


On Aug 8, 2001, killerdaisy from Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Best with lots of moisture, but can tolerate some drought. Divide every year in spring. May be troubled by rust or leaf spots.