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

Heliopsis helianthoides

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Heliopsis (hee-lee-OP-sis) (Info)
Species: helianthoides (hee-lee-an-THOY-dees) (Info)
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Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 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)

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:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


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

, (2 reports)


Denver, Colorado

Lewes, Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware

Cordele, Georgia

Davenport, Iowa

Detroit, Michigan

Saint Paul, Minnesota (2 reports)

Brunswick, Missouri

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Port Norris, New Jersey

Coram, New York

Fairborn, Ohio

Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Arlington, Texas

Richmond, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


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

I would prefer to label this straight species as the Smooth Oxeye or the Smooth False-Sunflower, as its leaves are not rough or barely so. (There is the variety of H.helianthoides scabra that is barely different, but has slightly narrower leaves that have a roughness on them from tiny hairs, thus "scabrous." I refer to the variety as the Rough Oxeye or Rough False-Sunflower, and it has the various cultivars derived form it) Both are pretty, reliable, and easy perennials. If grown in a typical perennial border of English garden style, they should be dug up and divided every three or four years and reset to keep them in good, neat form. If growing them in a naturalistic patch, one does not have to do that. I think the Smooth variety is used more for naturalistic plantings while the Rough var... read more


On Jun 27, 2013, Kell0339 from St Paul, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

I would like to give this plant a positive rating for its continual flowering and cheerful yellow flowers. The leaves are coarse. I only had two small groupings of plants and every summer they had red aphids which I controlled easily with insecticide, but this summer the plant spread to my prairie garden located on the large strip between the sidewalk and the street. Several more plants grew and now the stems of each one is red with aphids. If I can figure out how to do it, I will upload a photo. I think the aphids on my backyard plants are coming from the prairie plants and my usual methods of control aren't working. Plus, I feel overwhelmed by the number of aphids and aphid-covered plants in the prairie garden and don't know whether to leave them to fend for themselves, rip them out, or ... read more


On Jun 25, 2012, darylmitchell from Saskatoon, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:

These grow readily in my climate in sun and part shade. They bloom profusely all summer and autumn, and are practically maintenance-free. They self-seed readily and can crowd out other plants, so I would call them slightly invasive. Any unwanted plants should be removed while young before the roots become established.


On Jun 16, 2012, Ithiel from Dearborn Heights, MI (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant volunteered its self in a rather shady area underneath a tall pine tree about 6 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 and it really took off. It now grows 4 to 5 feet plus tall by 3 to 4 feet wide, and blooms from late May or Early June until October even in less than ideal conditions. I've noticed that on hot, sunny days it wilts very easily so I would think it prefers a home with protection from the blazing afternoon sun, and in spite looking like a sunflower, it actually loves a lot of water, so perhaps an area along a stream or pond would be ideal.

Either way, it is a carefree, self-seeding perennial that will grow most anywhere and should be an addition ... read more


On Sep 17, 2009, Thalictrum from Noordwijk,
Netherlands wrote:

I love this plant. It grows in my yard in sandy soil in half shade. This plant blooms from the beginning of may until november. I would not want to do without this plant. I have started to take stem cuttings and hope for more of this plant.


On Jul 3, 2009, kittysue from Fairborn, OH wrote:

Strong grower in full sun, especially in sandy soil with regular watering it will bloom the first year. Easy to transplant.

The plant droops later in the day when it is hot and sunny. It also droops after being transplanted, but recovers after a day.

Goldfinches pluck one or two rays from each flower in order to get their head in to inspect the maturity of the seed head. On successive visits, it appears they don't pluck any further, and use the space of the missing rays to perform their inspections. In the end, I can't recall whether the goldfinches were able to get anything from them, as they may be mistaking the plant for a true sunflower.

This species has flower nectar but not much. I've seen butterflies perched on the flowers, just sitting t... read more


On May 31, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

False Sunflower is a lovely Texas native plant that will grow in part shade or full sun, and reseeds profusely.


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

The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract their fair share of insects, including long-tongued bees, Halictine bees, bee flies, butterflies, Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus (Goldenrod Soldier Beetle), and other insects. Among the long-tongued bees, is the oligolege Holcopasites heliopsis (False Sunflower Bee). The caterpillars of Papaipoma rigida (Rigid Sunflower Borer Moth) sometimes bore through the stems.
This plant is desirable chiefly because of its long blooming season during the summer, and its ease of cultivation. It's possible to confuse the False Sunflower with one of the woodland sunflowers, but the former can be distinguished by its fertile and more numerous ray florets, rather broad and distinctively veined leaves, earlier blooming period, and the greater tendency of t... read more