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If you can find a sufficiently damp location for it, Purple-Headed Sneezeweed is worth cultivating because of its attractive foliage and flowerheads. Generally, Sneezeweeds (Helenium spp.) can be distinguished from other species in the Aster family by the globoid centers of their flowerheads, their V-shaped and 3-lobed petaloid rays, and their strongly winged stems from the decurrent leaves. Purple-Headed Sneezeweed is easily distinguished from Helenium autumnale (Common Sneezeweed) by the purple to brown globoid centers of its flowerheads; the globoid centers of the latter species are yellow. Another species in Illinois, Helenium amarum (Bitterweed), has very narrow leaves and it prefers drier habitats. Another scientific name of Purple-Headed Sneezeweed is Helenium nudiflorum.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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