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Also known as Dogtooth Daisy, Helens Flower and Bittersweet, common sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale) is a perennial plant in the daisy or aster family (Asteraceae). As its name implies, it typically flowers in late summer or autumn.

Sneezeweed grows erect, clump-forming, in moist soils along streams, ponds and other riparian areas. It produces yellow or orange daisy-like composite flowers. These colors can be used to brighten a border, a meadow, or a wild garden.


The Plains Apache name for the plant means "it makes you sneeze" and it was liberally used as a sneezing medicine.

"The dried, crumbled flower heads of sneezeweed plants possessed the quality of inducing uncontrollable sneezing when inhaled. Even a slight whiff was supposed to produce a fit of sneezing so violent that it caused the nose to run and cleared the nasal and sinus passages.  Becasue ofd this property, the sneezeweed heads were saved and snuffed to relieve headache and the congestion of head colds."

Plains Apache elders interviewed for Plains Apache Ethnobotany noted that sneezeweed was also snuffed when a person felt drowsy and want to wake up. A fit of sneezing would relieve the sleepy feeling.

Helenium Species:

Helenium microcephelum – smallhead sneezeweed
Helenium hoopesii – orange sneezeweed
Helenium puberulum – autumn lollipop
Helenium rancherasneezeweed
Helenium Mardi Gras – Helen's flower

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