Heliopsis helianthoides is native to much of the United States east of the Rockies and can be found on roadsides, in open woods, at the edges of fields, and in waste areas. Considering these locations, you might think of it as weedy or unattractive, but think again. This vigorous, upright, 3 – 4 foot perennial deserves consideration for your sunny flower garden. Tolerant of conditions many other plants won’t like – dry locations, poor soils, and clay soils – this plant should do well here in town.
What does Heliopsis helianthoides provide besides beauty?
- Nectar for bees and butterflies. There is even one bee that is a specialist pollinator of this plant.
- Larval host * for the painted lady butterfly, Vanessa virginiensis.
- Seeds for birds. The American goldfinch, Spinus tristis, is likely to visit.
- Winter cover for beneficial insects, assuming you leave the stems to overwinter in the garden.
- Cut flowers for you.