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Maximilian Sunflower
Helianthus maximiliani

A native prairie perennial, usually growing in large clumps or colonies, 3-9' tall. Suited for erosion control, ornamental native gardens, hedges and natural screens, and prairie restorations. Other uses include sunny borders, native plant gardens, cottage gardens, naturalized areas, meadow restorations, filter strips, vegetated swales and upland buffers. It is a great background plant for perennial gardens and a must for bird and butterfly gardens.

USDA symbol: HEMA2

General Information

Plant TypeForb
Height4 to 5 feet
Light ExposureSun
Soil MoistureDry
Bloom ColorYellow
Maximilian Sunflower (Maximilian Sunflower<div><em class="small">Helianthus maximiliani</em></div>)
Photo credit: United States Department of Agriculture (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceModerate
General Resilience9
Salt ToleranceLow
Stress ToleranceDrought Tolerant, Fire Tolerant, General Disturbance

Pollinator Value: Very 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
Coefficient of Conservatism5
Herbivore SensitivityHigh
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationShallow
Vegetative ReproductionClonal


CountyBecker, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Cass, Chippewa, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Itasca, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Lac qui Parle, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Martin, McLeod, Mille Lacs, Murray, Nobles, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Renville, Roseau, Sherburne, St. Louis, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Watonwan, Wilkin, Winona, 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