Helenium virginicum

Common Names:
Virginia Sneezeweed
S.F. Blake
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Missouri Botanical Garden

The conservation of Helenium virginicum is fully sponsored.


Ah-choo! An allergic reaction to Helenium No! The sneezeweed got its name from early settlers who would dry the yellow flower heads and grind them into a snuff. People sniffed the snuff to make them sneeze and open stuffy noses.
At the time that Helenium virginicum was listed as federally threatened, the plant was thought to be restricted to about 25 seasonally inundated sinkhole ponds and meadows in Augusta and Rockingham counties, Virginia. Since then, however, more than 25 populations of the sneezeweed have been identified in Missouri. What led to this disjunctive distribution is unknown.
H. virginicum is well adapted to the fluctuating water levels of their native habitat and rosettes can sometimes be observed completely submerged. The ability to survive periodic inundation may give the sneezeweed a competitive advantage over other plants in the same habitat.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research