Possibly the best flower name we’ve had so far. All manner of insects use the nectar and pollen, the leaves, the stem. But the leaves are nasty so it’s avoided by mammals. A member of the Aster family. Native
Purple-headed Sneezeweed (Helenium flexuosum)
Purple-headed! I had my brain all set for a pretty purple flower. I get the sneeze-weed part, but where does purple-headed come from?
Well, I think botanists just like to play fast and easy with the word purple. But here is a quote from our friend, Illinoiswildflowers.info: “Purple-Headed Sneezeweed is easily distinguished from Helenium autumnale (Common Sneezeweed) by the purple to brown globoid centers of its flowerheads; the globoid centers of the latter species are yellow.” So possibly I just happened across a variety with more brown than purple globoids, and with luck, someday I’ll discover some truly purple-headed ones.