Helen's Flower

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Helen's Flower

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Helen’s Flower is a genus that is believed to be named by Linnaeus for Helen of Troy.  As the legend goes, the flowers grew up from the ground wherever her tears fell.  Another common name, Sneezeweed, is based on the story that the flowers and dried leaves were used in making snuff.  When it was inhaled, it caused sneezing.  Other names for Helen’s Flower are bitterweed, autumn sneezeweed, and false sunflower.  Producing an abundance of blooms, Helen’s Flower is a perennial plant that belongs to the daisy or aster family (Asteraceae).

Becoming more commonly planted in gardens, Helen’s Flower produces daisy-like flowers that bloom over a long period.  They come in an array of colors: yellow, bronze, orange, and red.  Helen’s Flower grows well in fertile, moist, well-drained soil in full sun. The flowers attract both bees and butterflies.  If a shorter plant is wanted, pinch the plant back in May or June.  After blooming, cut the plant back by half or two-thirds; divide the root clumps every 3 years.  This clump-forming, drought resistant perennial spreads quickly and produces cheerful and long blooming flowers.