Helianthus debilis subsp. debilis

Photographs belong to the photographers who allow use for FNPS purposes only. Please contact the photographer for all other uses.

East Coast Dune Sunflower

Asteraceae (Compositae)

Plant Specifics

Size:1.0 to 2.5 ft tall by 2.0 to 8.0 ft wide
Life Span:Short-lived perennial
Flower Color:Yellow
Phenology:Deciduous. Perennial but often short lived. Blooms most of the year in its natural range.
Noted for:Showy flowers, Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:Ground cover in sandy, open environments.
Considerations:Aggressively self-seeds, can be a nuisance in the wrong situation.
Propagation:Self-seeds, seeds can easily be collected from deadheads. East coast dune sunflower can also be propagated using cuttings. Seeds are available through the Florida Wildflowers Growers Cooperative.
Availability:Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales, Seed
Light: Full Sun
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Somewhat moist, no flooding ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Somewhat moist, no flooding ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:High. Can tolerate significant and ongoing amounts of salty wind and salt spray without injury.
Soil or other substrate:Loam, Sand
Soil pH:5.2 to 7.2



Seeds eaten by birds and small mammals.  When full grown, provides a thicket for protection of small birds and animals.


Primarily pollinated by bees. 

Native Habitats:Beach dunes, coastal grasslands, sandhill, and scrub

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 11 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:To avoid introgression with other H. debilis subspecies, do not grow them in a common garden.