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Scientific name: Helenium autumnale

This is a native perennial and a member of the aster family. Like other members of the “star” family, it features daisy-like flowers, growing on an upright stem in this case reaching 2-5 feet. The name “Helenium” is thought to have been inspired by Helen of Troy.


Narrow leaves 1/8 inches wide and up to 3 inches long.


 Each flower features 5-10 wedge-shaped, golden yellow rays, each ray having three notched lobes at the tip. Rays droop downward from a spherical yellow to a brown center disk containing numerous tiny disk florets.

Blooming Season

August to October.

Fun Facts

This plant got its common name as it was dried and made into snuff by both pioneers and early settlers. The violent sneezing it induced was thought to rid the body of colds, congestion and disease.


Sneezeweed is found in damp areas, along banks of rivers, and wetlands.

Similar Species

Asters and sunflowers, including coreopsis and woodland sunflower.

Ecosystem Connections

Attracts many different pollinators. Mammals such as deer and rabbits will not eat them as they have a toxic substance.

Human Connections

Try growing this deer resistant plant if you have a damp spot in your garden.

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