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Purple-headed Sneezeweed, Purplehead Sneezeweed - Helenium flexuosum


Family: Asteraceae - Aster family Genus Common Name: Sneezeweed Native Status: Native
Helenium flexuosum - Purple-headed Sneezeweed, Purplehead Sneezeweed. Native to a large part of the United States, Helenium flexuosum has been introduced to and naturalized in parts of eastern Canada. It is a plant growing in damp areas up to about 3 feet tall, branching in the upper part of the plant. The blossoms terminate these stems.

Synonym: Helenium nudiflorum

Found in:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV

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Helenium flexuosum

Distribution of Helenium flexuosum in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 30 Mar 2017). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

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Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2011-July-30Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The semi-spherical (or more) shape of the disk, and the V-shaped bright yellow ray flowers are key identifiers for Helenium species. The ray flowers have 3 lobes at the tips; they will droop somewhat.
Helenium flexuosum

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2011-July-30Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
There are lance-shaped, green bracts under the blossom, which recurve sharply as the blossom matures. Note the grooved peduncle (flower stem), and the slight hairiness of the peduncle, floral bracts, and underside of the ray flowers.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Helenium flexuosum

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2011-July-30Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Helenium flexuosum has a variable level of hairiness, but is typically sparsely hairy throughout the plant, including on the winged stem.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Helenium flexuosum

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2011-July-30Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The sessile, oblong or lanceolate leaves are 1 to 5 long, and they continue down the stem in a significant wing. The leaves are up to about an inch wide.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Helenium flexuosum

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer