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Western Sunflower
Helianthus occidentalis

Western Sunflower grows up to 3 feet tall, with no leaves all the way up its stalk. It prefers dry soil and partial to full sun. Birds love its seeds.

USDA symbol: HEOC2

General Information

Plant TypeForb
Height3 to 4 feet
Light ExposureSun, Part Sun
Soil MoistureMedium
Bloom ColorYellow
Western Sunflower (Western Sunflower<div><em class="small">Helianthus occidentalis</em></div>)
Photo credit: United States Department of Agriculture (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceLow
General Resilience8
Salt ToleranceMedium
Stress ToleranceDrought Tolerant, General Disturbance

Pollinator Value: Medium

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 Conservatism9
Herbivore SensitivityMedium
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationShallow
Vegetative ReproductionClonal


CountyChisago, Fillmore, Goodhue, Hennepin, Houston, Olmsted, Pine, Ramsey, Wabasha, Washington, Winona
EcoregionDriftless Area, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Lakes and Forests, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland