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Montana Field Guides

Common Sneezeweed - Helenium autumnale

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
C-value: 6

Agency Status


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General Description
Fibrous-rooted perennial herbs. Stems erect, often branched, 15–60 cm, winged-decurrent from leaf bases. Herbage puberulent, minutely punctate. Leaves cauline, petiolate below, sessile above; basal withered at flowering; blades lanceolate, entire to obscurely dentate, 2–10 cm, reduced upward. Inflorescence corymbiform. Heads radiate; involucre reflexed; phyllaries subequal in 2 or 3 series, 10–15 mm long, narrowly lanceolate, green, puberulent; receptacle hemispheric, naked, pitted. Ray flowers 8 to 21, female, yellow, reflexed; ligules 10–15 mm long. Disk flowers numerous, fertile; corolla yellow, 2–4 mm long, glandular, puberulent above, tube shorter than the throat; style branches dilated. Pappus of 5 to 10 aristate, scarious scales. Achenes obconic, 4- to 5-angled, 1–2 mm long, pubescent (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Throughout North America (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 28

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Moist, often gravelly soil along streams, wetlands, roadsides; plains, valleys (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus bifarius, Bombus frigidus, Bombus sylvicola, Bombus impatiens, and Bombus insularis (Thorp et al. 1983, Colla and Dumesh 2010, Pyke et al. 2012, Williams et al. 2014).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141:39-68.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Pyke, G.H., D.W. Inouye, and J.D. Thomson. 2012. Local geographic distributions of bumble bees near Crested Butte, Colorado: competition and community structure revisited. Environmental Entomology 41(6): 1332-1349.
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
    • Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 208 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Jones, W. W. 1901. Preliminary flora of Gallatin County. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 78 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Common Sneezeweed — Helenium autumnale.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from