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Helianthus schweinitzii

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
hee-lee-AN-thus shwei-NIT-zee-eye
Description

Schweinitz's Sunflower is a native herbaceous wildflower in the aster family. In nature it is found in the clay soils of woodlands, forest openings, grasslands, and along roadsides in the Piedmont areas of North and South Carolina. Once endemic to these areas, it is now listed as an endangered species by federal and North Carolina state agencies. This plant is one of the rarest species of sunflower in the United States and is not recommended for home landscapes.

This plant grows best in well drained soil with full sun. However, it does tolerate sandy and clay soils as well as dry soils. It does not do well in full shade. The plant has tuberous roots and can spread quickly.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases or insect pests. This plant spreads by tuberous roots and grow out of control.

More information on Helianthus.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#wildlife plant#native perennials#endangered#NC native#disturbed areas#larval host plant#rare#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#Audubon#woodland garden#silvery checkerspot butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#wildlife plant#native perennials#endangered#NC native#disturbed areas#larval host plant#rare#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#Audubon#woodland garden#silvery checkerspot butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Helianthus
    Species:
    schweinitzii
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North and South Carolina
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers provide nectar to pollinators from July until the first frost. This is 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.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • 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
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    Displays from September to November. Schweinitz's sunflower spreads through dispersal of seeds without a dormant period.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Blooms from August to October.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Papery
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are arranged in pairs on the lower part of the stem but singly on the upper part. Leaves grow out from the stem at a right angle and the tips of the leaves tend to droop. The leaves are thick and stiff, with a rough upper surface. They have broad spiny hairs that are directed toward the tip, and soft white hairs cover the underside.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Stems are purple and usually solitary, branching only at or above mid-stem. The upper third bears secondary branches at 45-degree angles.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Border
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Dry Soil
    Poor Soil