Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Smooth Oxeye - Heliopsis helianthoides   (L.) Sweet
Members of Heliopsis with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
Author(L.) Sweet
DistributionMountains and Piedmont. The existing gaps are not real and will likely be filled with additional collecting.

VT to Ont. and WI, south to GA and LA.
AbundanceFairly common to frequent in the mountains; infrequent to locally fairly common in the Piedmont; absent from the Coastal Plain.
HabitatMoist, irregularly flooded, soils of bottomlands, floodplain forest openings, moist to mesic meadows, roadside ditches. It often occurs in upland sites, such as in glades, powerline clearings, and wooded borders, but there mainly where the soils are of high pH.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting May to October.
IdentificationThe genus Heliopsis can be separated from Helianthus by a few technical characters, such as ray florets female and fertile (vs. neuter and infertile) and persistent rays (vs. eventually dropping). Also, the bracts are thick and broad, rather than narrow and acuminate or acute in Helianthus. In the field, Smooth Oxeye grows 2.5-4.5 feet tall, and has opposite, stalked, ovate, toothed, pointy leaves. Stems and leaves are glabrous or nearly so. If in doubt, look beneath the flower for the broad and thick bracts.
Taxonomic CommentsThe variety found in NC is the nominate one.

Other Common Name(s)Eastern Oxeye, False-sunflower
State RankS4
Global RankG5
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