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Small-headed Sunflower Helianthus microcephalus

Phonetic Spelling
hee-lee-AN-thus my-kro-SEF-uh-lus
Description

Small Woodland Sunflower is a native wildflower in the aster family found in dry woodland areas or along roadsides in the eastern U.S.A. In NC it is found in all areas but primarily in the Piedmont and mountain regions. It will grow 4-6 feet tall and 2-4 feet wide. The yellow flowers are showy in clusters with a long bloom season. Pollinators are attracted to the blooms and birds will eat the seeds. It spreads by rhizomes and reseeding.

Small Woodland Sunflower is easy to grow in average well-drained soils and tolerates moist to occasionally dry soil and full sun to partial shade. It is drought tolerant once established. Deadhead the blooms to stimulate reblooming and prevent unwanted seeding. Divide plants as needed to control growth. 

This plant is suitable for cottage gardens, naturalized and native gardens and rock gardens. It makes a great nectar plant for a butterfly garden as well.

More information on Helianthus.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#partial shade#wildlife plant#yellow flowers#NC native#native wildflower#larval host plant#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#piedmont mountains UPL#coastal UPL#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#butterfly larvae#pollinator garden#host plant#audubon#silvery checkerspot butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#partial shade#wildlife plant#yellow flowers#NC native#native wildflower#larval host plant#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#piedmont mountains UPL#coastal UPL#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#butterfly larvae#pollinator garden#host plant#audubon#silvery checkerspot butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Helianthus
    Species:
    microcephalus
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CT , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NJ , OH , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Host plant for the American Painted Lady, Painted Lady and Spring Azure butterflies. Attracts bees, butterflies and birds. This is also a larval host plant that supports Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis). The Silvery Checkerspot has at least 1-2 broods in the north from June-July in the deep south and Texas, they have as many as 3-4 broods from May through September.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
  • 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)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    Achenes in clusters September to November
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    1-1.25 inch bloom with 5-7 rays around center disk flowers are both yellow. Occurs singly or in clusters. Blooms from July to October
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Lance-shaped leaves 3 to 6 in. long and .8 to 2 in. wide, are mostly scabrous above, resin-dotted, entire or toothed. Undersides have scattered matted hairs. The lower leaves are opposite and upper leaves are alternate.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Smooth reddish-green stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought