Helenium flexuosum Purple sneezeweed

This shorter and more colorful version of sneezeweed is somewhat common in eastern North America, but rare in Kansas and virtually unknown to Nebraska.  In fact, there is only one known population in Nebraska, although it is possible that others are out there.

  Purple sneezeweed stands 4 feet tall as opposed to the 4 to 5 foot height of the more common version (Helenium autumnale).  Bot may need support or a large grouping in order to support one another.

 

Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)

Both species require a damp site and are tolerant of clay soil. Linneaus supposedly named this genus (Helenium) after Helen of Troy because the plant grew where her tears fell.  It is easily identified by the winged stem and the ball of florets in the center of the flower.  Purple sneezeweed blooms from late July to October and is a highly valued pollinator plant.

 

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