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Smooth Oxeye (Heliopsis helianthoides (L.) Sweet)

Also known as false sunflower.

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A perennial with yellow, sunflower-like flowers, hence the one common name. Native to a wide range of North America, from the southwest to the northeast; generally more abundant in the north.

Range - Expand

Native or Not Present
Native or Expanded

This tentative map is based on our own research. It may have limited data on Canada and/or Mexico, and there is some subjectivity in our assignment of plants as introduced vs. expanded. Read more in this blog post.

This species is widely planted in gardens and sometimes escapes, but it also has vigorous wild populations spreading on its own. It is expanding its range in the northeast, contiguously with its native range, likely with significant help from humans.


Sometimes planted in gardens, especially those focused on native plants. Some cultivars exist, including ones with more compact growth habits.

In North America, the only other plant of this genus is Heliopsis parvifolia, in the far southwest.

The broader Heliantheae or sunflower tribe of the Asteraceae family contains numerous species.

Heliopsis helianthoides (False Sunflower) | Illinois Wildflowers (About This Site)

Heliopsis helianthoides (Smooth Oxeye) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Heliopsis helianthoides | Go Botany (About This Site)

Heliopsis helianthoides (Oxeye Sunflower) | Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder (About This Site)

Heliopsis helianthoides | CABI Invasive Species Compendium (About This Site)

Heliopsis helianthoides | Biota of North America Project (BONAP) (About This Site)

Heliopsis helianthoides | NatureServe Explorer (About This Site)

Heliopsis helianthoides | Flora of North America (About This Site)