Oxeye Sunflower
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Oxeye Sunflower
P Introduced Photo: Anil Thakur
Common name: Oxeye Sunflower, Early sunflower, Rough oxeye, Smooth oxeye, False sunflower
Botanical name: Heliopsis helianthoides    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Heliopsis oppositifolia, Rudbeckia oppositifolia, Helepta grandiflora

Oxeye Sunflower is a 3-5 ft. perennial herb with stiff, branched stems, sunflower-like flower-heads, and opposite, toothed leaves. Flowers are stalked, borne in a loose cluster at the top of the plant. Flowers are 3.5-9 cm across, with 10-18 pale yellow to orange-yellow ray florets, and a golden yellow to brownish cone-shaped center disk. There are 2 layers of hairy, bracts surrounding the base of the flower, though it may appear to be a single row. The bracts are alternate, the inner bracts short with pointed tips and the outer longer and broader, usually with rounded tips though they may be pointed. Flower stalks are green and rough-hairy. Leaves are up to 11 cm long and 7 cm wide, somewhat egg-shaped, tapering to a pointed tip, with coarsely toothed to sawtoothed edges and a leaf stalk up to about 2.5 cm long. The color ranges from bright green to dark green. The texture is very rough and the edges can be wavy. Stems are erect, typically branched and rough from short hairs. Oxeye Sunflower is native to North America, cultivated in some hill stations in India.

Identification credit: Anil Thakur Photographed in cultivation in Shimla.

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