Helenium, also known as sneezeweed or Helen’s flower, is a genus of plants native to North, Central, and South America. The species of interest for Mt. Cuba Center’s trial include Helenium autumnale (native to the entire U.S. and Canada) and H. flexuosum (native to the eastern U.S.). Helenium is a popular garden plant in Europe where its display of red, orange, and yellow flowers is a valuable contributor to the late-season garden. However, it remains relatively unknown in the United States. In fact, most of the cultivars available today were bred and selected overseas, and therefore, very little is known about their long-term performance in our climate. For that reason, Mt. Cuba Center is trialing 43 selections of Helenium to determine which cultivars perform best in the mid-Atlantic region. The performance determination is based on horticultural characteristics like sturdiness, bloom time, bloom quantity, and resistance to diseases like powdery mildew and rust. Mt. Cuba Center is also evaluating the ecological value of Helenium, determining which types of bees visit the flowers and whether there is any preference for particular species and/or cultivars. A summary report will be released at the completion of the three-year trial in 2019.