Mt Cuba Center
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Carex barrattii
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Mt. Cuba Center evaluates native plants and related cultivars for horticultural and ecological value.

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Mt Cuba Center
Back to trial Helenium

Trial Garden

Helenium autumnale

4 Photos


This species is a parent to many Helenium hybrids and cultivars. Its influence on floral display and vigor is seen in several of the top-performing sneezeweeds, including H. ‘Kanaria’, H. ‘Kugelsonne’, and H. ‘Tijuana Brass’. While these cultivars exhibit petals that are held horizontally, the petals of Helenium autumnale droop. This gives the radiant, butter-yellow inflorescence the overall appearance of a badminton birdie. The flowers themselves are not only highly esteemed by gardeners, but command the attention of insects as well. Mt. Cuba Center’s Pollinator Watch Team observed that Helenium autumnale attracted the highest number of wasps and bees based on data collected in 2017 and 2018 (see page 14). Additionally, vigorous stems clad with narrow, blue-green foliage provide interest when plants are not in bloom.


  • Rating
  • Common Name
    common sneezeweed  
  • Bloom Period
    early August — early September 
  • Peak Bloom
    late August 
  • Flower Size
  • Size
    70" X 42" 
  • Powdery Mildew Resistance

  • Pollinator Favorite