Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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  • False Sunflower

    SCIENTIFIC NAME: Heliopsis helianthoides

    COMMON NAMES: False Sunflower, Early Sunflower, Sweet Smooth Ox-eye ,Smooth Oxeye, Ox-eye Sunflower, Ox-eye, Eastern Sunflower-everlasting, Heliopsis Ox-eye, Smooth Ox-eye

    BLOOM TIME: June, July, Aug, Sept


    • 3-5 ft. tall plant, becoming bushy.
    • Leaves up to 5 in. long & rough texture from tiny hairs.
    • Flowerheads in. wide with 8-20 ray florets.
    • Called “false” because ray and disc florets produce seeds. Only florets produce seeds on true sunflowers.
    • Habitat: black soil prairies, river-bottom prairies, grassy meadows in wooded areas, open woodlands, woodland borders, savannas, thickets, limestone glades, banks of streams.


    • Songbirds, and small rodents probably eat the seeds.
    • Hoofed mammalian herbivores probably browse on the young foliage.