Helenium Autumnale. Sneezeweed.

Helenium autumnale. Sneezeweed. 

Helenium autumnale, commonly known as Sneezeweed, is a captivating perennial plant native to North America. It is recognized for its daisy-like blooms that emerge in late summer and extend their display into the fall. Its distinct flowers boast a radiant palette of golds, yellows, and rich oranges, with a central raised cone giving it a unique texture, drawing pollinators and admirers alike. These blossoms, which often stand upright on slender stems, are surrounded by lance-shaped green leaves, lending the plant an overall delicate yet robust appearance.

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the name ‘Sneezeweed’ alludes to its historical medicinal use by Native Americans, who ground its dried leaves and used the resulting powder to induce sneezing, purging the body of evil spirits and illnesses. However, it’s worth noting that while the plant is not toxic when touched, ingesting it can be harmful, so it should be enjoyed for its beauty and not as a food source. Its ability to thrive in various conditions, from well-drained soils to wet meadows, makes it a versatile choice for gardeners looking to add a touch of fall color to their landscapes.

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