This Florida native sunflower grows in low wet areas throughout the state, but also performs well in landscapes. It is sometimes call Narrow-leaf Sunflower, which describes it's long, narrow leaves that are rough like sandpaper. However, the plant is better known for its tall stems that display profuse numbers of golden yellow flowers in late summer and fall. it is root hardy in areas across the southeastern United States, and spreads by underground rhizomes to form large clumps.
Mature Size: Up to 6 feet tall, clumps may become quite wide over time.
Growth Rate: Moderate
Plant Habit: Upright
Plant Spacing: 3 - 5 feet
Ornamental Characteristics & Uses:
Foliage Color: Green
Flower Color: Golden Yellow
Bloom Time: Late Summer - Fall
Attracts Wildlife: Butterflies and Bees
Uses: Perennial Borders
Cold Hardiness Zone(s): 6 - 11
Exposure: Full Sun - Partial Shade
Water Needs: Moderate to High
Soil Tolerances: Prefers sandy moist soils
Soil pH: Acidic
General Care & Growing Tips:
Like other sunflowers, this plant performs best in full sun. Plants grown in partial shade will not produce as many flowers, will become leggy and may fall over without support. As its name implies, the Swamp Sunflower thrives in moist areas, but will also thrive in well-drained garden soils if watered during dry spells. You can cut the plant back in early June to make it bushier when it blooms later in the year. Then cut back the dead stems after flowering to maintain a neater appearance. Root masses can be divided in spring or autumn.
No insects or diseases are of major concern.
Christman, S (2003). Helianthus angustifolius. Floridata. http://www.floridata.com
Gilman, E. and Shiffit, S. (1999). Helianthus angustifolius. University of Florida. http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/database/documents/pdf/shrubfact sheets/helanga.pdf
Norcini, J. G. (2000). Common Native Wildflowers of North Florida. University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep061
Photos by: Alicia Lamborn
- UF/IFAS Sites
- Demonstration Gardens of the University of Florida's Extension Service
- Ornamental Teaching Gardens: Design, Development and Use
- Types of Gardens
- Lawn and Garden Landscape Design
- Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program
- Florida Yards.org