General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 8b -9.4 °C (15 °F) to -6.7 °C (20 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: 24 - 30 inches
Plant Spread: 4 - 6'
Leaves: Evergreen
Other: the leaves & stems have a punjent piney type scent when disturbed
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: 2"-3"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Late spring or early summer
Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Beach Front
Uses: Provides winter interest
Erosion control
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Sow in situ
Other info: will freely self sow
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Other: it roots wher it touches the ground -- can be invasive
Containers: Not suitable for containers

Common names
  • Dune Sunflower
  • Beach Sunflower
  • Cucumberleaf Sunflower
  • Cucumber-Leaf Sunflower

Photo Gallery
Location: Flagler Beach, FL zone 9a
Date: 2019-04-19
Plant growing in natural habitat of the beach dunes
Location: Florida
Location: Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida
Date: 2022-02-24
a patch in the dunes
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: 2014-04-24
Location: Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Florida
Photo by sedumzz
Location: Plano, TX
Photo by plantladylin
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2016-08-16
With a Pearl Crescent butterfly
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2016-06-07
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2016-03-12
Germinated in 11 days
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2016-05-31
Photo by sedumzz
Location: Plano, TX
Location: Plano, TX
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: 2014-06-21 
Planted 2 quart size plants the end of April 2014. They took off

credit: Bob Peterson
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2016-09-03
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2016-08-16
Location: Martin County Florida
Date: March
Location: Ponce de Leon Inlet, Florida  
Date: 2014-01-10
Location: Sebastian,  Florida
Date: 2016-01-05
Location: Ponce de Leon Inlet, Florida 
Date: 2014-01-10
Location: Photo taken at Ponce de Leon Inlet, Florida
Date: 2014-01-10
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: 2015-09-01
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: 2015-09-22
This plant is tagged in:

  • Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Aug 27, 2014 12:07 PM concerning plant:
    Helianthus debilis, the Beach Sunflower or Dune Sunflower (the name I've always known it by), is a wonderful perennial groundcover here in my area. We see this sunflower growing alongside coastal highway A1A, as well as trailing along the sand dunes on the beach and growing in residential gardens. It acts as a stabilizer of sand dunes and helps prevent beach erosion. The Dune Sunflower is native to the United States and can be found along both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, where it tolerates a fair amount of salt spray. The name debilis in latin means weak, lame, or debilitated, which describes this plant's tendency to crawl along the ground. It's an extremely drought-tolerant plant, and the blooms attract butterflies.

    I planted a couple of small ones in my garden in early April this year and they have since spread and multiplied tremendously, growing out over the edge of the bed and trying to trail through the lawn. This suits me fine, but unfortunately, my husband uses the string trimmer and whacks them back to the edge of the bed. I've read that Dune Sunflower may last only one season in climates where freezes occur, but even though we get occasional short freezes here, it always seems to survive and it's one of my favorite groundcovers because it blooms nearly year round.

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