Helianthus angustifolius

Swamp Sunflower

$3.00 - $6.00

1/4 oz.
1/2 oz.
1 oz.

This late blooming sunflower is an excellent choice for a damp sunny spot in a garden.  Its salt tolerance makes it suitable for coastal gardens as well.  Swamp Sunflower has attractive, dark green foliage throughout the growing season and puts on a show of bright yellow blooms in the fall.  Unlike other species in its genus, Helianthus angustifolius doesn't spread aggressively, but rather forms a gradually growing clump.

Swamp Sunflower grows in sunny wet habitats throughout the southeastern U.S., you may even see it in roadside ditches.  The leaves can serve as a host plant for the Silvery Checkerspot butterfly among others.  By attracting butterflies and caterpillars, it offers a food source for many species of birds including waxwings, orioles, thrushes, and cardinals.

3 Questions asked on Helianthus angustifolius

I live on a golf course, there is a culvert in my backyard that has standing water in it. This ditch grows all spring/summer/fall then is cut back in the late winter by the course grounds people. I am looking to make this a more visually appealing, bird friendly area, it’s about 100’ long x 12’ Wide, full sun. Even to plant “my side” would be ok if tall enough, we also have a saltwater pool that is sometimes drained due to rain overflow into this area. Looking at your swamp sunflowers? Suggestions please....
Thanks for writing, Pam.  Swamp Sunflower would be a perfect choice for an area like the one you describe. So would Cardinal Flower. If you want a more diverse planting for such a site, you might consider our most-appropriate pre-designed seed mix, the Short Sedge Meadow

You could locate other species suited to your site by using our website’s search filter. Click on the 'SEEDS' category at the top of our web page and then use the sun, soil, etc. filters on the left.
If I am lucky enough to be successful with the cold/moist stratification in my fridge, will the Swamp Sunflower bloom this season?
From seed, native perennials can take up to 3 years to blossom. In year one, these seedlings focus on their root development. From there, they put energy into their leaves and stalks and eventually, their flower. Just remember, it is more of a time investment than a monetary one when starting from seed!
What is the native range for this species?
Hello Lily, you can see the native range for this species by visiting the following Biota of North America Program link:


Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

Dormant Bare Root Plants

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

Potted Plants

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

Shipping & Handling Charges

SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free!

Custom seed mixes or discounted seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $9.00
over $50.00: 18% of the total plant cost. (For orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required.)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within 1-3 business days.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.



Germination Code
Life Cycle
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Wet, Medium-Wet, Medium
8 feet
Bloom Time
August, September, October
Bloom Color
Bird Favorite: seeds, insects, fruit, nectar, nesting, perch
USDA Zones
Plant Spacing
Catalog Code