Nodding Onion Gardens

Native Plant Nursery

Where Wildflowers Grow

Columbia Station, Ohio, USA


Heliopsis helianthoides

Early Sunflower 

Ohio Native Plant - Natural Range

Heliopsis helianthoides

Visit the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service website to view the natural range of this Early Sunflower.
Early Sun Flower -  Heliopsis helianthoides
Heliopsis helianthoides - Early Sunflower
Photo - Roger Dahlin - Baldwinsville, Ny

Wildlife Significance

Heliopsis helianthoides

Nectar/Pollen - Provides either pollen, nectar or both for: Bees (long and short tongued), wasps, flies and pollen eating beetles.

Nectar Source - For several butterflies:Monarchs, Painted Lady, Red Admiral and skippers

Host Plant - Food for the caterpillar of the Painted Lady Butterfly, various checkerspots


Oligolectic Bees – are bees that are very particular as to what plant family they gather their nectar and pollen. False Sunflower is such a plant for several bees: Andrena accepta, Andrena aliciae, Andrena helianthi, Pseudopanurgus rugosus

Seed - feed for birds

For more details on this plant visit the Illinois Wildflower website
Swallowtail on Early Sunflower
Swallowtail on Early Sunflower
Early Sunflower Seeds
Seeds are black - to the left of the quarter

Seed Provenance -

Heliopsis helianthoides - Early Sunflower - Prairie Moon Nursery, Winona, MN - 2010 - Nodding Onion Gardens - 2011 - present

Early Sunflower
Early Sundlower - Fall 2102

Cultivation Information - Early Sunflower

Height - 3 to 5 ft
Flower Color - Yellow
Blooms - June to September
Sun - Full sun to part shade
Hardy Zone - 5 to 9
Soil - Moist to dry

Family - Asteraceae

Cultivate - perennial sunflower spreads easily
Early Sun Flower  - Heliopsis helianthoides
Early Sun Flower Heliopsis helianthoides
native plants 44039
Early Sunflower - Baldwinsville, NY - Far right
Photo - © Roger Dahlin 

Propagation NotesHeliopsis helianthoides

Cold Frame - In the fall plant seeds in a flat, then store in a protected cold-frame. Check soil during a winter warm spell to be certain seeds don't dry out
Alternative method -

Cold Storage 30 days - Small Zip lock plastic bag with a few table spoons of  moistened vermiculite

Seeds Planted - 2-12-2012

Sprouted - 2-19-2012 - Many!

Night Temperature - 61 - 63°F

Day Temperature - 64 - 65°F -Under florescent lights

Natural Sunlight - 
Exposed a few hours each day to sunlight