Helianthus debilis subsp. debilis

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
Fruit Color:NA
Noted for:Showy flowers, Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:Ground cover in sandy, hot 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 herbaceous or softwood 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
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- 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. The goldenrod soldier beetle (a.k.a. leatherwing beetle(, Chauliognathus pensylvanicus is a goldenrod pollinator (FL Wildflower Foundation).

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