Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra 'Venus'
Common Name: oxeye sunflower
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Yellow rays with darker yellow center disk
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion, Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates drought, but does better if regularly watered. Tolerates wide range of soils, including poor ones. Tolerates some light shade, but plants grown in too much shade tend to require support. Remove spent flowers to extend the blooming season.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Heliopsis helianthoides, commonly called ox eye, is an upright, clump-forming, nearly glabrous, sunflower-like, short-lived perennial that is native to eastern and central North America. It typically grows to 3-4' tall and features daisy-like flowers (2-3” diameter) with yellow-orange rays surrounding brownish-yellow center cones. Flowers bloom throughout summer atop stiff stems clad with ovate, toothed leaves (to 6" long).

Plants in the genus Heliopsis are both similar in appearance to and closely related to those in the genus Helianthus, the true sunflower. Heliopsis is sometimes commonly called false sunflower.

Var. scabra differs from species plants by having hairy and rough-textured (scabrous) leaves and stems with the leaves being thicker. Upper leaves may be entire with basal leaves toothed. Cultivars of var. scabra are more commonly grown in gardens that the species itself.

Genus name comes from the Greek words helios meaning the sun and opsis meaning resembling in allusion to the rayed yellow flower heads.

Specific epithet means resembling the genus Helianthus.

‘Venus’ is a compact oxeye cultivar that typically grows to only 36” tall. Features semi-double, daisy-like flowers with yellow rays and darker yellow center disks. Flowers bloom from mid-summer to early fall atop stiff stems that seldom need staking. Coarse, serrate, ovate to lanceolate, deep green leaves (to 5” long). Good fresh cut flower.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Red aphids are occasional visitors. Reportedly has some resistance to powdery mildew.

Garden Uses

Borders. Cottage gardens. Cutting gardens.