Helianthella californica

California Helianthella

Plant Type: Perennial
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Adaptable
Water: Occasional
Height X Width: 2' X 2'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
What do these mean?



California helianthella is found in most of California’s mountain ranges. It is absent in the deserts and (surprisingly) the Central Coast. In Santa Clara County one encounters this bright little sunflower on the grassy slopes of the Diablo Range. Like its near cousins in the genus Wyethia, it grows as a whorl of lance-shaped leaves from a deep tap root. The tap root stores energy during summer dormancy when all above ground growth disappears. As the plant matures, the tap root grows larger and deeper, resulting i more and larger leaves. In springtime, California helianthella sends up multiple flower stems topped with yellow daisy flowers. Each flower head produces dozens of seeds. Although tolerant of some water, it will go dormant in the summer whether watered or not. Enjoy a patch of this unusual plant during the spring and early summer in a spot in the garden where the dormancy is tolerable.


Deer Resistant: No
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: Yes
Evergreen or Deciduous: Deciduous