Helianthus salicifolius 'Table Mountain'

Common Name: willow-leaved sunflower 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: September to October
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
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.

Any seeds produced by this cultivar will reportedly be sterile.

Noteworthy Characteristics

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"). Attractive to butterflies and other insect pollinators. 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).

'Table Mountain' is primarily distinguished from species plants by its compact, flat-topped habit. It typically grows to only 16" tall and as wide. It is the result of a controlled cross-pollination that took place in Auckland, New Zealand in 1993 between Helianthus 'Golden Pyramid' (female) and Helianthus 'Autumn Queen' (male). Foliage is covered in late summer to early fall with a profuse bloom of 1.5-2" diameter sunflowers with golden yellow rays and brown center disks. Narrow, linear, rich green leaves (each to 3-4” long and to 3/8" wide) form an attractive foliage clump. U.S. Plant Patent Applied For (PPAF).


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. Deer tend to avoid this plant.

'Table Mountain' should not 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.

Yellow flowers contrast well with many other fall-blooming perennials such as asters and chrysanthemums.