Common name/s ?

Sneezeweed 'Sahin's Early Flowerer', Helen's flower 'Sahin's Early Flowerer' and dogtooth daisy 'Sahin's Early Flowerer'.

Skill rating



North and Central America.

Type of plant ?

Herbaceous, deciduous perennial.

Hardiness zone ?

RHS zone


EGF zone


USDA zone


Eventual size

To 1m height and 50cm spread.

Growth rate ?

Moderate, will reach full size in 2 to 5 years.

Shape it grows into

Upright, clump forming herbaceous growth.

Season/s of interest

Flowers from June to October.

Where to grow it

Happiest in full sun.
Prefers moist soil.

Happy in any soil type and pH, though it will flower best in nutrient-rich soil. Best in a south, west or east facing aspect and will tolerate exposed or sheltered sites.

Helenium 'Sahin's Early Flowerer'


A deciduous, clump-forming plant with tall stems bearing daisy-like blooms which have large, dark brown ball shaped centres which become covered by the tiny yellow flowers (called disc-florets). The centres are surrounded by large, reflexed ray-florets (which appear to be the petals) which are a deep orange colour fading to bright yellow at the tips.

What to use it for

Stunning colour for beds and borders, suited to most styles of garden and particularly prairie planting schemes. Useful for cut flowers and to attract wildlife, particularly pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies.

How to look after it

Feed the plant in spring as growth begins to appear above the soil with a balanced fertiliser. Provide support as growth gets going in the late spring to keep the tall stems upright.

Dividing the clumps in springtime every 3 to 4 years can help maintain the vigour of the plant.

How to prune it

Deadhead throughout the flowering season to prolong the display. Cut back to ground level in autumn when flowering has ceased.

For shorter plants (to reduce the need for staking) you can give Helenium plants the ‘Chelsea Chop’, reducing the height of the stems by a third to a half in late May or early June. This will not only reduce the plant’s height but also give you more numerous flowers, albeit that they will be smaller and later. Alternatively, try cutting back just the front of each clump of stems, so you get a longer flowering period.

How to propagate it

Propagation is done in spring, either by division of the clumps, basal stem cuttings from new shoots which are about 8cm tall (they may flower the same season) or by sowing seeds at 15°C (the seedlings should emerge within about a week). Seeds sown from cultivars like this are unlikely to come true to form.

Common problems

May be susceptible to diseases including the helenium virus, wilts and leaf spots. Stem eelworms, tortrix moths, slugs and snails may also be a problem.

Other useful information

This Helenium has been given the Award of Garden Merit by the RHS.

The name Helenium is derived from the Greek ‘helenion’, which is thought to commemorate Helen of Troy (hence the common name of Helen’s flower). The name was originally used for elecampanes (Inula helenium), but was assigned by Carl Linnaeus in the 18th century to the plant that we now know as Helenium. The common name ‘Sneezeweed’ relates to the use of dried, powdered Helenium root as snuff.

This Helenium was developed at the Sahin trial grounds in Holland in the 1990s and is thought to be a hybrid of cultivars originating from Helenium autumnale and Helenium bigelovii.