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Narrow Leaf Sunflower Helianthus angustifolius

Previously known as:

  • Coreopsis angustifolia
Phonetic Spelling
hee-lee-AN-thus an-gus-tee-FOH-lee-us
Description

Swamp sunflower is a native perennial member of the aster family and can be found from NY to FL to TX. It is a large perennial that can grow up to 8 feet tall with showy yellow daisy-like flowers from mid to late summer into fall. Prune plants back in June to encourage branching. It prefers moist to occasionally wet acidic sandy to clay loams in full sun. It can be grown on drier soils if adequate moisture is provided. It will tolerate part shade but flowers better in full sun. This plant is a favorite of pollinators and songbirds. There are shorter cultivars available if desired.

Use this plant in the back border of a native/pollinator garden, naturalized area, or along streams and ponds. Give it room to grow and spread and you will have a profusion of late-season flowers when little else is blooming.


Insects Diseases and Other Plant Problems: Caterpillars and beetles often chew on the foliage but seldom cause enough damage to warrant management. Rust, leaf fungal spots, and powdery mildew are somewhat common.  Because stems can be flimsy, plants may need to be staked, especially if planted in a windy location.  

More information on Helianthus.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'First Light'
    3-4 feet
  • 'Gold Lace'
    Golden yellow, 5-7' tall
  • 'Low Down'
    2-3 feet
'First Light', 'Gold Lace', 'Low Down'
Tags:
#bees#drought tolerant#fall flowers#wildlife plant#showy#yellow flowers#salt tolerant#low maintenance#fall interest#coastal#specialized bees#herb garden#food source#fire#medium flammability#NC native#rhizomes#native wildflower#larval host plant#food source fall#food source nectar#food source pollen#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#food source hard-mast fruit#butterfly friendly#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'First Light'
    3-4 feet
  • 'Gold Lace'
    Golden yellow, 5-7' tall
  • 'Low Down'
    2-3 feet
'First Light', 'Gold Lace', 'Low Down'
Tags:
#bees#drought tolerant#fall flowers#wildlife plant#showy#yellow flowers#salt tolerant#low maintenance#fall interest#coastal#specialized bees#herb garden#food source#fire#medium flammability#NC native#rhizomes#native wildflower#larval host plant#food source fall#food source nectar#food source pollen#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#food source hard-mast fruit#butterfly friendly#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Helianthus
    Species:
    angustifolius
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    USA
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    It is a host plant for the Silvery Checkerspot butterfly. Songbirds, ruffed grouse, quail, mourning doves, and small mammals are attracted to seeds so leave standing dead flowers into the winter as natural bird feeders. Members of the genus Helianthus support the following specialized bees: Andrena (Callandrena s.l.) accepta, Andrena (Callandrena s.l.) aliciae, Andrena (Callandrena s.l.) helianthi, Melissodes (Eumelissodes) agilis, Dieunomia (Dieunomia) heteropoda, Megachile (Sayapis) pugnata, and Paranthidium (Paranthidium) jugatorium.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Easy to Grow
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Dimensions:
    Height: 5 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 6 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    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
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Displays from September to November
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    A profusion of 2-3 inch flowers with 10-20 yellow narrow pointed rays surrounds a purplish-brown disk. Has hairy bracts. Blooms in late summer into fall.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are narrow, willowy, scratchy, simple, hairy and pointed at the tip. The leaves have three linear veins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Green to purplish pubescent stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Poor Soil
    Salt
    Wet Soil