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Helenium autumnale

Phonetic Spelling
hel-EH-nee-um aw-tum-NAH-lay
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Common sneezeweed can be found throughout the United States in moist soils along streams, ponds, in swamps, and wetlands. Sneezeweed can be cultivated in average to rich soils, needing moist to wet conditions. It should be cut back in early summer to encourage branching and increase flowers. Cultivars are much showier than the weedy native sneezeweed.

The common name of Sneezeweed is based on historic use of the crushed dried leaves and heads to make a form of snuff that caused sneezing.

Common sneezeweed leaves, flowers, and seeds are poisonous to humans if eaten in large quantities, causing gastric and intestinal irritation, which can become fatal.  The chemicals in sneezeweed can poison livestock, particularly sheep and cattle.. 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Butterpat
  • Helena Red Shades
  • Moerheim Beauty
  • Riverton Beauty
Tags:
#red#butterflies#sun#yellow#poisonous#partial shade#summer#orange#perennial#brown#wildflowers#fall interest#wetlands#swamps
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Butterpat
  • Helena Red Shades
  • Moerheim Beauty
  • Riverton Beauty
Tags:
#red#butterflies#sun#yellow#poisonous#partial shade#summer#orange#perennial#brown#wildflowers#fall interest#wetlands#swamps
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Helenium
    Species:
    autumnale
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Powdered leaves and flower heads were used in the treatment of colds and congestion by inducing sneezing. Indians used an infusion of the leaves as a laxative.d
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Distribution:
    Eastern US and Canada, Midwest and Gulf Coast
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Wheel
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    flattened or ball-shaped flower heads with bright yellow wedge-shaped rays which are 3-lobed at the outer end, drooping away from the center ball.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    stalkless, usually toothed, 2-5 in. long; wing-angled stems; branches toward the summit
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Poor Soil
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    Salivation, elevated temperature and pulse, difficulty of breathing, vomiting, and convulsions. TOXIC ONLY IF INGESTED IN LARGE QUANTITIES.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Sesquiterpene lactone
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Leaves
    Seeds