• Helianthus strumosus 

    Woodland sunflower

Helianthus strumosus 

Woodland sunflower Description:

Helianthus strumosus, commonly known as paleleaf woodland sunflower or woodland sunflower, is a herbaceous perennial plant in the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It is native to eastern North America and can be found growing in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, meadows, and along roadsides.

The plant typically grows to a height of 2 to 6 feet and has an upright habit with branching stems and rough-textured leaves that are up to 6 inches (15 cm) long. The leaves are a pale green color and can be an attractive feature in their own right. In mid to late summer, it produces clusters of small, daisy-like flowers that are typically bright yellow, although they can also be pale yellow or cream. The flowers have a prominent central disk that is surrounded by drooping ray flowers.

Helianthus strumosus is a hardy and easy-to-grow plant that prefers part to full shade and well-drained soil. It is commonly used in shade gardens, woodland gardens, and other naturalistic landscapes. In addition to its ornamental value, it is also valued for its ecological importance, as it provides habitat and food for a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies. It is also commonly used as a cut flower in floral arrangements. The plant can spread by rhizomes, so it may need to be controlled in some situations.

Native Range:

Woodland sunflower can be found in most parts of central and Eastern United States. 

Standard Plant Information:

Plant Height: 2' - 6' 

Bloom Time: July - September

Preferred Habitat: Does well in part shade to full sun. Often found in open woods, woodland edges, and roadsides.


For most homeowners, the best option is to scatter seed on the ground by hand broadcasting at a minimum of 16-64 pls ounces per acre.  For even coverage, we recommend that you broadcast seed in perpendicular rows across the site to ensure even coverage.

You’ll want to broadcast any grass seed first, which will get raked into the soil lightly. Next, it is ideal to mulch the area lightly with either a clean (no seed) straw or preferably with our native Little Bluestem straw, sold at our retail garden centers. After a light mulching is complete, now it’s time to broadcast your native wildflower seeds, which should not be raked into the soil. A good rain or watering is sufficient to cover the seed.


Simply dig a hole in the soil slightly larger than the plant’s roots. Ensure that the soil line of the plant is maintained during the transfer (i.e. the plant should be at the same level with the ground as it was in the pot). Pack any loose dirt back around the plant and make sure you water it well the same day to ensure it has the best chance of survival.

maps used with permission from MN Wildflowers

Helianthus strumosus Gallery

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