For Your Garden - October 2012
Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.
yellow sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)
Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Yellow sneezeweed is found throughout the state in areas of wet soil. It starts blooming in July and August and continues blooming through November. The flowers are yellow, and each ray has three or four scallops at the tip. The rays also point downward. The disc flowers are arranged in a sphere shape. The plant may grow to a height of five feet. Leaves are widest in the middle and taper to both ends. A single leaf may be as much as six inches long and one and one-half inches wide. Yellow sneezeweed was given its common name because its dried flower heads were supposedly used by pioneers as snuff.
Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.