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Showy Sunflower
Helianthus laetiflorus

Showy Sunflower is a large (and yes, showy) sunflower that blooms in later summer. Its seeds are a favorite for birds migrating south for winter. It spreads rapidly by rhizomes. Plant in patches and give it lots of room.

USDA symbol: HELA

General Information

Plant TypeForb
Height3 to 4 feet
Light ExposureSun
Soil MoistureDry
Bloom ColorYellow
Showy Sunflower (Showy Sunflower<div><em class="small">Helianthus laetiflorus</em></div>)
Photo credit: CC Mathieu Menand (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceLow
General Resilience6
Salt ToleranceMedium
Stress ToleranceDrought Tolerant, General Disturbance

Pollinator Value: High

Bloom MonthsAugust to September
Larval Host ofBees, Butterflies
Specific Pollinators HostedChlosyne gorgone, Numerous bee species
Pollinator BenefitInsect Pollinated, Provides Nectar, Stem Nesting, Supports Generalists

Project Planning

Project TypeBoulevard, Rain Garden, Shoreline Buffer
Herbivore SensitivityMedium
Rate of SpreadMedium
Soil StabilizationDeep
Vegetative ReproductionClonal


CountyAitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Jackson, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Koochiching, Lac qui Parle, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Pipestone, Pope, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Roseau, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wabasha, Wadena, Waseca, Watonwan, Wilkin, Winona, Wright, Yellow Medicine
EcoregionDriftless Area, Lake Agassiz Plain, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Glaciated Plains, Northern Lakes and Forests, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands