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Heliopsis helianthoides

Common Name(s):
Heliopsis, Oxeye Sunflower , Ox-eye
Light of Loddon, Summer Sun, Sunstruck, Summer Nights
Herbs, Native Plants, Perennials, Wildflowers

Heliopsis helianthoides, commonly called ox eye, is an upright, clump-forming, nearly glabrous, sunflower-like, short-lived perennial that is native to eastern and central North America. It typically grows to 3-4' tall. Heliopsis resembles sunflower, but flowers in midsummer on a much branched, shorter plant. Good cultivars include 'Light of Loddon' and 'Summer Sun.'

Plants in the genus Heliopsis are both similar in appearance to and closely related to those in the genus Helianthus, the true sunflower. Heliopsis is sometimes commonly called false sunflower.

Oxeye provides long summer bloom for the perennial border or cutting garden. Also effective in a native plant or wild garden or as part of a naturalized planting or prairie area.

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plains

Seasons of Interest: 

  Blooms:  Summer/late summer            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Fall  

Wildlife Value: This plant is highly resistant to damage from deer. Its flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Its seed may be eaten by songbirds.   

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Some susceptibility to aphids. Taller plants may need staking or other support.

Summer to fall
Sun, part shade
2-5 ft.
Flower Color:
yellow, orange
USDA Hardiness Zone 3-9
Ox-eye has short arrowhead-shaped, opposite, sandpapery texture leaves attached in pairs on a smooth stem. The stems are clad with ovate, toothed leaves (to 6" long).
Ox-eye features daisy-like flowers (2-3” diameter) with yellow-orange rays surrounding brownish-yellow center cones. The flowers have 10 or more petals, 1.5 in. long. They bloom throughout summer atop stiff stems.
Herbaceous perennial
Ox-eye is easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. It tolerates drought but does best if regularly watered. It will tolerate a wide range of soils, including poor, infertile ones. Will tolerate some light shade, but plants are less vigorous and the stems need support in heavier shade.
division, seed
full sun
well drained
Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain
North America
Life Cycle:
sun, summer, fall, yellow, good cut, wildflower, perennial, orange, pollinators, songbirds, butterflies, showy

NCCES plant id: 723

Heliopsis helianthoides Heliopsis helianthoides
Joshua Mayer, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Heliopsis helianthoides flowers and foliage Heliopsis helianthoides flowers and foliage
Fritz Flohr Reynolds, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Heliopsis helianthoides bloom and leaves Heliopsis helianthoides blooms and leaves
Fritz Flohr Reynolds, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Heliopsis helianthoides bloom Heliopsis helianthoides bloom
bwinesett, CC BY-ND-2.0
Heliopsis helianthoides 'Sunstruck' Heliopsis helianthoides 'Sunstruck'
KM, CC BY - 2.0
Heliopsis helianthoides 'Summer Nights' Heliopsis helianthoides 'Summer Nights'
Debbie Roos