Common Name: willow-leaved sunflower
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Native Range: South-central United States
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: September to October
Bloom Description: Yellow rays and dark brown center disks
Sun: Full sun
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerant of wide range of soil conditions. If grown in part shade, plants tend to be taller and more open, produce fewer flowers and require support. Spreads over time by creeping rhizomes to form dense colonies. Divide every 3-4 years to control spread and maintain vigor.
Helianthus salicifolius , commonly called willow-leaved sunflower, is a Missouri native plant that occurs in unglaciated western Missouri prairie areas south of the Missouri River. Features clusters (branched panicles) of 2-2.5" wide sunflowers with bright yellow rays and dark brown center disks atop rigid, whitish-green stems typically growing 5-6' (less frequently to 8') tall. Narrow, drooping, willow-like, pale green leaves (5-7"). Blooms from late summer to fall. Good fresh cut flower.
Genus name comes from the Greek words helios meaning sun and anthos meaning flower.
Specific epithet means with leaves like Salix (willow).
No serious insect or disease problems. Sunflowers are generally susceptible to rust, leaf fungal spots and powdery mildew. Caterpillars and beetles may chew on the foliage. Watch for aphids. Taller plants may need staking.
Attractive foliage and profuse late summer to fall bloom make this an excellent addition to the border background, wild or native plant garden, or naturalized planting.