Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This native perennial plant is 3-5' tall, branching occasionally and becoming rather bushy in open situations. The light green stems have scattered white hairs and are rather angular. The opposite leaves are up to 5" long and 3½" across, ovate to broadly ovate in shape, and coarsely serrated along the margins. They are usually dark green and have a rough texture. The daisy-like composite flowers are 2-3½" across. They are usually held erect and occur individually at the ends of flowering stems. The ray florets are light to golden yellow, while central disk florets are a slightly darker shade of yellow and form a flattened cone. Both the ray and disk florets are fertile, and can form viable seeds. There are no tufts of hair attached to the seeds. The blooming period occurs from early to late summer and lasts about 2½ months. There is no noticeable scent to the flowers. The root system is fibrous.
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Comments

This plant is desirable chiefly because of its long blooming season during the summer, and its ease of cultivation. It's possible to confuse the False Sunflower with one of the woodland sunflowers, but the former can be distinguished by its fertile and more numerous ray florets, rather broad and distinctively veined leaves, earlier blooming period, and the greater tendency of the flowers to be held erect on the plant, resembling yellow Zinnias. Return
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Range and Habitat in Illinois

The False Sunflower occurs throughout Illinois, except for a few southern counties (see Distribution Map). It is a fairly common plant, favoring disturbed areas. Habitats include mesic black soil prairies, open woodlands and woodland borders, thickets, limestone glades, and areas along railroads. It is often grown in flower gardens, and sometimes escapes to neighboring waste areas. This plant is usually found not far from woodland areas, rather than in the open prairie.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Heliopsis helianthoides (L.) Sweet:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Perennials, (40–)80–150 cm. Aerial stems (from creeping rhizomes to 4 cm × 2–6 mm, rhizome internodes mostly 2–10 mm) 1–10+, stramineous to reddish brown, glabrous or hairy. Leaf blades ovate to deltate-lanceolate, 6–12(–15) × 2–6(–12) cm, margins regularly to irregularly and coarsely dentate, apices acute to acuminate, faces glabrous, sparsely pubescent, moderately to densely scabrellous, or scabrous. Heads 1–15+. Peduncles 9–25 cm. Involucres 12–25 mm diam. Phyllaries glabrescent to densely pubescent on margins, apices, and abaxial faces. Paleae lanceolate to oblong, apices obtuse, faces glabrous. Ray florets 10–18; corollas golden yellow, laminae mostly 2–4 cm × 6–13 mm. Disc florets 10–75+; corollas yellowish to brownish yellow (lobes brighter than tubes), 4–5 mm, glabrous. Cypselae 4–5 mm, glabrous or pubescent on angles, smooth; pappi 0 or of 2–4 minute, toothlike scales. 2n = 28 (variety unknown).
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Buphthalmum helianthoides Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 904. 1753
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The False Sunflower occurs throughout Illinois, except for a few southern counties (see Distribution Map). It is a fairly common plant, favoring disturbed areas. Habitats include mesic black soil prairies, open woodlands and woodland borders, thickets, limestone glades, and areas along railroads. It is often grown in flower gardens, and sometimes escapes to neighboring waste areas. This plant is usually found not far from woodland areas, rather than in the open prairie.
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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of False Sunflower in Illinois

Heliopsis helianthoides (False Sunflower)
(Bees suck nectar or collect pollen; flies and beetles feed on pollen or suck nectar; other insects suck nectar; some observations are from Graenicher, Mitchell, Reed, and Krombein et al. as indicated below, otherwise they are from Robertson)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn cp (Gr, Re); Apidae (Bombini): Bombus impatiens sn, Bombus griseocallis (Re), Bombus pensylvanica sn cp (Rb, Gr), Bombus vagans (Re); Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina sp. (Re), Ceratina dupla dupla sn cp (Rb, Gr); Anthophoridae (Epeolini): Epeolus bifasciatus sn fq, Triepeolus concavus sn, Triepeolus cressonii cressonii sn, Triepeolus lunatus concolor sn fq, Triepeolus lunatus lunatus sn; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Melissodes agilis (Mch), Melissodes coloradensis sn, Melissodes coreopsis (Mch), Melissodes denticulata sn, Melissodes rustica sn, Melissodes subillata (Re), Melissodes trinodis sn cp (Rb, Gr), Melissodes vernoniae (Mch), Svastra obliqua obliqua sn cp; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada sp. sn (Re); Anthophoridae (Pasitidini): Holcopasites heliopsis sn; Megachilidae (Anthidinini): Paranthidium jugatoria sn cp (Gr); Megachilidae (Coelioxini): Coelioxys germana sn, Coelioxys moesta sn (Gr), Coelioxys octodentata sn, Coelioxys rufitarsis rufitarsis sn (Gr), Coelioxys sayi sn, Coelioxys texana sn (Gr); Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile brevis brevis sn fq, Megachile centuncularis sn cp (Gr), Megachile inimica sayi (Mch), Megachile latimanus sn cp (Gr, Re), Megachile mendica sn cp (Gr), Megachile parallela parallela sn, Megachile pugnatus sn cp (Gr); Megachilidae (Trypetini): Heriades variolosa variolosa (Kr)

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea sn cp (Gr), Agapostemon virescens sn cp (Gr, Re), Augochlora purus purus (Mch), Augochlorella striata sn cp (Rb, Gr, Re), Halictus confusus (Re), Halictus ligatus (Re), Lasioglossum imitatus cp np, Lasioglossum obscurus sn, Lasioglossum pectoralis cp np, Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus sn cp (Rb, Gr, Re), Lasioglossum pruinosus sn cp, Lasioglossum rohweri (Re); Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena aliciae sn cp (Rb, Gr), Andrena peckhami sn cp (Gr); Andrenidae (Panurginae): Heterosarus labrosiformis labrosiformis sn cp, Heterosarus labrosus (Mch), Pseudopanurgus rugosus sn fq

Wasps
Sphecidae (Bembicinae): Bembix americana; Sphecidae (Crabroninae): Ectemnius continuus (Gr); Sphecidae (Sphecinae): Ammophila kennedyi, Ammophila nigricans; Scoliidae: Scolia bicincta

Flies
Syrphidae: Eristalis stipator (Re), Eristalis transversus sn (Rb, Gr), Sphaerophoria contiqua (Gr), Toxomerus geminatus (Gr), Toxomerus marginatus (Re); Empidae: Empis clausa sn fq; Milichiidae: Eusiphona mira sn (Rb, Gr); Bombyliidae: Exoprosopa decora (Gr), Exoprosopa fasciata sn, Exoprosopa fascipennis sn, Geron calvus sn fq, Poecilanthrax alcyon sn, Poecilognathus punctipennis (Gr), Sparnopolius confusus sn, Systoechus sp. (Re), Systoechus vulgaris sn (Rb, Gr); Conopidae: Stylogaster biannulata sn, Zodion sp. (Re); Anthomyiidae: Delia platura (Gr); Tachinidae: Mochlosoma sp. (Gr); Milichiidae: Eusiphona sp. (Re)

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Chlosyne nycteis (Gr), Danaus plexippus (Gr), Phyciodes tharos (Rb, Gr), Speyeria cybele (Gr), Vanessa cardui (Re), Vanessa virginiensis (Gr); Lycaenidae: Strymon melinus; Pieridae: Colias philodice (Gr), Pontia protodice

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Pholisora catullus, Polites themistocles (Gr)

Moths
Sesiidae: Synanthedon tipuliformis (Gr)

Beetles
Cantharidae: Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus sn; Elateridae: Cardiophorus obscurus fp (Gr); Mordellidae: Mordellistena comata fp (Gr)

Plant Bugs
Lygaeidae: Lygaeus turcicus; Miridae: Metriorrhynchomiris dislocatus (Gr), Plagiognathus sp. (Gr)

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Faunal Associations

The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract their fair share of insects, including long-tongued bees, Halictine bees, bee flies, butterflies, Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus (Goldenrod Soldier Beetle), and other insects. The caterpillars of Papaipoma rigida (Rigid Sunflower Borer Moth) sometimes bore through the stems.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Heliopsis helianthoides

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full or partial sun, and moist to slightly dry loamy soil, although rocky ground and clay are tolerated. This plant is easy to grow, and tolerates more shade than most prairie wildflowers. It is quick to develop, but is not thought to be particularly long-lived.
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Wikipedia

Heliopsis helianthoides

Heliopsis helianthoides is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, known by the common names smooth oxeye and false sunflower.[1] It is native to eastern North America, including eastern Canada and the eastern United States.[2][3]

This species is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial growing 40–150 cm (16–59 in) tall. The toothed leaf blades are oval to triangular or lance-shaped and may be smooth or hairy or rough in texture. The flowers are produced from midsummer to early autumn (fall).[4] The inflorescence contains one to many composite flowerheads. Each head contains yellow ray florets which are generally 2–4 cm long. At the center are many yellow to brownish disc florets. The fruit is an achene about 5 mm long.[2]

In the wild this plant may be found in wooded areas and tallgrass prairie, and sometimes along roadsides.[1]

It is a popular garden plant, and several cultivars are available with flowers of varying colors and shades. These include 'Summer Sun', 'Golden Plume', and 'Prairie Sunset'.[3] The following cultivars of H. helianthoides var. scabra ("rough")[5] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-

  • 'Benzinggold'[6]
  • 'Light of Loddon'[7]
  • 'Spitzentänzerin'[8]
  • 'Waterperry Gold'[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Heliopsis helianthoides. USDA NRCS Plant Guide.
  2. ^ a b Heliopsis helianthoides. Flora of North America.
  3. ^ a b Heliopsis helianthoides. Missouri Botanical Garden.
  4. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  5. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315. 
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra 'Benzinggold'". Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra 'Light of Loddon'". Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra 'Spitzentänzerin'". Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra 'Waterperry Gold'". Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
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Notes

Comments

As T. R. Fisher (1957) noted, intermediates occur between var. helianthoides and var. scabra, and artificial hybrids show only slightly decreased pollen stainabilities and normal meiotic pairing. Intermediates are especially common in Missouri, Illinois, and New England, and may also be encountered elsewhere in areas of sympatry. In addition to the key characters, var. helianthoides generally has longer petioles, has smaller heads on shorter peduncles, and occupies less-open habitats than var. scabra.
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