Helenium flexuosum

Photo by Sara Tangren

This highly decorative and adaptable herbaceous perennial is greatly valued for its nectar-rich flowers, popular with a great variety of bees, butterflies, beneficial wasps and songbirds. Heleniums are closely related to Echinaceas and both offer ‘heads’ densely packed with nectar. These upright inch-wide spherical cones are complemented by a circle of bright yellow, 1.5” reflexed petals. V-shaped and wider at the bottom, to some the ring looks like a floral skirt. Flowering stems rise 36” above compact and bushy foliage. It is a prolific bloomer, with up to 80 flowers spread among a multitude of stems. It also blooms over a long period, from mid-summer to first frost. Widespread across much of the central and eastern U.S. and Canada and south to FL, LA and TX, it is found in a range of habitats, from fields and ditches to stream banks. Plant in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun and water regularly during growing season. Clumps out via vegetative growth but is not invasive. Prune to ground in late winter. Makes an excellent cut flower. Not a favorite of deer.

Curious Plantsman

Full Sun
Average Water

USDA zones 4-10