Helianthus divaricatus

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: sunflower 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Eastern United States, Oklahoma, Canada
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Yellow rays with darker yellow center disk
Sun: Part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in part shade. Tolerant of wide range of soil conditions. Spreads over time by creeping rhizomes to form colonies. Divide every 3-4 years to control spread and maintain vigor.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Helianthus divaricatus is a Missouri native plant that occurs in open rocky woodlands and thickets in eastern Missouri. Features 2" wide sunflowers with bright yellow rays and slightly darker yellow center disks atop rigid stems typically growing 2-6' tall. Smooth stems and sessile or short-stalked leaves (to 6") are the distinguishing characteristics of this species. Blooms from mid summer to fall. Good fresh cut flower.

Genus name comes from the Greek words helios meaning sun and anthos meaning flower.

Specific epithet means spreading in a straggling manner.


No serious insect or disease problems. Taller plants may need staking.


Partially shaded border, wild or native plant garden, or naturalized planting.