Common Sneezeweed / Helen’s Flower
- Full sun to light shade
- Average to dry soil
- 3' to 4'-6" in height, 12" to 18" in width
- Summer Blooms
- Well adapted to garden and meadow settings, including dry meadows.
As seedlings, these were tucked into a bed which had little preparation beyond flipping over the mixed turf to expose the very dry, sandy and silty soil, to get them into the ground over the winter. And there they remained, the surrounding perennial plants, especially grasses, returned, they didn’t get any extra water, since this planting predated the well drilling by two years. And still, they return and bloom beautifully every year.
Flowering starts in mid August and carries on into early to mid September. The plants are fairly narrow, not more than about 18” wide, and they grow to 3’ to 4’ tall where they are planted now. They seem to enjoy full sun and have proven to be very drought tolerant.
In looking up the source of their common name (the plants can be dried and powered and used to intentionally induce sneezing, they don’t cause sneezing while growing in the garden) I did come across a note that the plants are mildly toxic if eaten, so probably not one for the school yard, but perfectly fine for most other sunny, dry locations.
If you are planning a mid height, dry meadow, these, Artemisia ludoviciana, Orange Butterfly Weed, Grey Stem Goldenrod, Heath Aster, Verbena hastata and Purple giant hyssop would all be good companions.