Soil: Hydric (Wet) – Xeric (Dry)
Sun: Full Sun – Part Sun
Height: 3-12 feet
Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Season: August – October
Suggested Uses: Saw-tooth Sunflower is very tall and showy! It prefers soils with moisture (it is often found in wet prairies) but can tolerate drier conditions for periods of time. Plants have aggressive rhizomes and are best for large restoration projects or single species plot-type plantings. A great option for heavy clay soils. Good for attracting beneficial insects including many types of bees. Solitary plants grow much taller than those growing in dense patches. Deer and rabbit resistant.
Native Range: Native to the Midwest and Northeast U.S.
Pollinators/Habitat: A great late-season nectar source for bees. A very important nectar source for adult monarch butterflies. Songbirds and upland game birds will eat the seeds.
Flowers: Composite, daisy-like with yellow centers (disk flowers) and yellow “petals” (ray flowers).
Leaves: The leaves are serrated (although the serrations are not always obvious) and up to 8″ long. Leaf attachment on the lower portions of the plant is often opposite while those on the upper portions of the plant may be alternate. Leaves have a rough texture. They may be folded down the central vein, though usually not as prominently as Helianthus maximilianii.
Fun fact: Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) exhibit heliotropism. The flower heads track the sun throughout the day.
Name: “Helianthus” means sunflower in Greek.
More information: USDA plant profile
Photo credit: Bill Summers @ USDA-NRCS.jpg