Swamp Sunflower
(Helianthus angustifolius)

Plant Description:

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

Growing Requirements: 

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

Maintenance:     Easy/low

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.

Common Pests:

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

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