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Helianthus angustifolius

Common Name(s):
Narrow leaf sunflower, Swamp sunflower
Categories:
Annuals, Native Plants, Wildflowers
Comment:

This native annual is a member of the Asteraceae or sunflower family and is a favorite of gardeners.  It has deep green sandpapery, simple narrow leaves and it blooms profusley with happy yellow flowers from late summer to fall.   Prune plants back in June for a bushier appearence when it blooms, but over all it is a low maintenance plant.  Narrow-leaf sunflowers are salt-tolerant and can tolerate water-logged soil so they are great for coastal gardens.  Under ideal conditions it can become weedy spreading by undergound rhizomes.  Save seed from your favorite plants to plant next year.  Plants grow very rapidly so there is no need to start seeds indoors.

Seasons of Interest:

    Bloom:  Summer,  July-August

Wildlife Value:  It is a great late-nectar plant for butterflies. Birds 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 beesAndrena (Callandrena s.l.) accepta, Andrena (Callandrena s.l.) aliciaeAndrena (Callandrena s.l.) helianthiMelissodes (Eumelissodes) agilisDieunomia (Dieunomia) heteropodaMegachile (Sayapis) pugnata, and Paranthidium (Paranthidium) jugatorium.  


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

Season:
Late summer, fall
Light:
Full sun to partial shade
Color:
Yellow, red, mahogany, bicolor rays with brown to purple center disk
Height:
6-10 ft
Space:
1.5-3 ft
Flower Color:
Bright yellow
Foliage:
Up to 7 in., very narrow, rough, sandpapery, simple, hairy leaves pointed at the tip; hairy stems; often has untoothed, stalkless cluster of smaller leaves in the axils
Flower:
2-3 in. flowers with a purplish brown disk and 10-20 petals; narrow, pointed, hairy bracts
Zones:
2-11
Habit:
Upright, can be leggy in partial shade
Site:
Sandy woods, wet prairies, thickets, low pinelands, flat woods, moist road shoulders, bogs, swales, ditches. Prefers moist soils and full sun but tolerates poor soils on the dry side.
Propagation:
rhizomes
Exposure:
full sun, partial shade
Fruit:
Sunflower seeds
Soil:
sandy, salty, water-logged
Regions:
mountains, piedmont, coastal plain
Origin:
United States
Life Cycle:
Annual
Tags:
fall blooming, yellow flowers, low maintenance, bees, drought, coastal, specialized bees, butterfly plant, fall, fall interest, salt tolerant, sunflower, wildlife, showy

NCCES plant id: 2858

Narrow Leaf Sunflower Narrow Leaf Sunflower
J. Biochemist, CC BY-NC-2.0
Narrow Leaf Sunflower Narrow Leaf Sunflower
Eleanor, CC BY-NC-2.0