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Illinois Native Plant Guide - Sawtooth Sunflower - Pages 92-93

Illinois Native Plant Guide

Sawtooth Sunflower
Helianthus grosseserratus

Preferred Water Depth and Inundation Tolerance

Prefers moist to saturated soil. Species tolerates seasonal inundation like that found in sedge meadows and wet prairies.

Wildlife Value

Provides nectar and pollen for bees and other insects. Achenes are eaten by insects, birds, and small mammals. Also provides reproduction and foraging habitat for Gorgone checkerspot butterfly.


Used for soil stabilization in upper shoreline zones and vegetated swales. Also a good pioneer species.

Availability, Establishment, and Maintenance

  • Achenes may benefit from cold stratification.
  • Plants may be subdivided in the fall and planted in a new site. Stem cuttings may be taken in the spring and rooted for transplanting.
  • Achenes may be sown with a rangeland drill or a hopper style planter. Hand seeding with a small hopper may be used in small areas.
  • Fall seeding works with fresh seed.
  • This species has a quickly spreading growth habit and can become weedy.

Sawtooth Sunflower
Helianthus grosseserratus

Mature HeightSawtooth Sunflower
3-13 feet

Plant Type
Perennial herb

Indicator Status
Facultative Wet (-)

Not available

Nutrient Load Tolerance

Salt Tolerance

Siltation Tolerance

Flowering Color and Time
Yellow to cream
July to October

Light Preference
Full sun

Seeding Rate
Not available

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