Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra 'Bleeding Hearts'
Common name: Ox-eye
Heliopsis helianthoides, or false sunflower, belongs to the family Asteraceae. It is native to eastern and central North America, growing in the tall grass prairies and along the edges of woods. It is an upright, clump-forming, sunflower-like, herbaceous perennial. The genus name comes from Greek, 'helios' meaning sun and 'opsis' meaning resembling, in reference to the yellow sunflower-like flower heads. By the way, Helios was the Greek sun god.
Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra 'Bleeding Hearts' is commonly called ox-eye. It is noted as being the first seed strain of Heliopsis without yellow on its flowers. The new flowers emerge bright orange and mature to golden orange with red centres. These flowers contrast nicely with the dark burgundy stems. Its leaves are serrated, lance-shaped and dark green with purple variegation. This perennial blooms from July until the first frost just like its species parent. H. helianthoides var. scabra 'Bleeding Hearts' is a relatively low maintenance plant. It grows happily in full sun, and is not fussy about soil conditions as long as the drainage is good. H. helianthoides var. scabra 'Bleeding Hearts' flowers are long lasting, beginning to bloom in July and continuing into October. Spent flowers if deadheaded will encourage more blooms.
H. helianthoides var. scabra 'Bleeding Hearts' was introduced by Jelitto Seeds in 2018. The variety 'scabra' denotes that the plant has hairy and rough textured leaves and stems.
Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra 'Bleeding Hearts' can be found in Bed 16 of the Eastern North America Garden.
Text and photos by Kumi Sutcliffe