False Sunflower

Heliopsis helianthoides

Tournesol Vivace

Provides long summer bloom for the perennial border or cutting garden. Also effective in a native plant or wild garden or as part of a naturalized planting or prairie area.

The false sunflower is attractive to birds, bees and hummingbirds and are deer-resistent. They are easy to grow, are drought tolerant and hardy.


The false sunflower is used in medicinal drinks and for treatment of lung troubles. The leaves have also been used in a strong tea to reduce fevers and loosen phlegm. Stems have been used to treat malaria. They enjoy growing in grasslands and at the endge of woodlands. They are multi-stemmed and are therefore good for planting near other clusters of flowers.

In nature Fields, meadows, borders.

The false sunflower blooms from June to August and is orange-yellow in colour. It is a perennial that, you guessed it, looks much like a smaller version of a sunflower. Heliopsis helianthoides is from Helios, who was the Greek sun god.

Video on Heliopsis helianthoides


Planting Heliopsis helianthoides

They are best planted in the spring or the fall and they will grow very quickly, although they are not likely to bloom in the first year of planting. In the fall, or late August, you can sow seeds directly and they should bloom by spring.

Companion plant suggestions include Asters, Liatris spicata, Turk’s cap lily, wild bergamot, yellow coneflower, rosin weed

Caring for False Sunflower

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun.

Plants are less vigorous and stems need support in heavier shade. Remove spent flowers to extend bloom season.

It is happiest in Chalk. clay, loam and sandy.

In terms of water, False Sunflower needs Average Water Needs.

Pruning Tournesol Vivace

Dead-heading is recommended to promote new bud growth and to keep a tidy appearance. False sunflowers make great cut flowers as well. They are clump-forming, rather than spreaders, which means dividing your plants every 2-3 years, in spring or fall, will help keep plants from dying in the centre. If you prefer a sturdier plant, as these may becoming top-heavy when overgrown, simply prune them back in spring. This will, however, delay the flowering period.

Aphids and powdery mildew can affect this plant. Providing good air circulation for your plants can ease both of these problems.