Last updated on May 21st, 2023 at 09:02 am

Bobbing yellows and cheery reds, fiery orange and coppery gold, the helenium is a perennial flowering plant native to the Americas. It is a member of the sunflower family, Asteraceae, and is one of the most popular garden flowers. The helenium flower’s meaning is vast and varied in different cultures across the world.

The Helenium (Helenium Humile) is a flowering plant growing abundantly in the south-central and south-eastern United States mountains. Helenium grows in moist soil in the shade and along streams in the spring. Their bright green foliage, with thin, long stalks, hold the bright-colored flowers. Helenium flowers are in full bloom during the summer and fall. The fragrant flowers attract bees, making your garden a hive of activity.

Each helenium flower is a bunch of smaller flowers. They are a tightly knit group of tiny flower disks (disk florets) with a beautiful outer ring of large petals (ray florets) arranged in a spiral. The petals have a character of their own; while some cheerfully face outward towards the sun, some choose to be melancholic and droop downward.

The name has roots in Greek Mythology—relating to Helen of Troy, the daughter of Zeus, and considered the most beautiful woman. “Helenion,” a Greek word, seems to be the benefactor of the genus name. While looking for the helenium flower, you will learn of a similar-looking plant found on the island of Pharos. This flower owns the legend of being born from the tears of Helen of Troy. Greek stories tell us how the flowers bloomed from the tear-soaked grounds of the island.

The flower’s alternate name, ‘Sneezeweed,’ is an intriguing fact. During medieval times, this plant’s dried flowers and leaves were commonly used as snuff to treat common colds and headaches. Native Americans believed the flower could ward off evil demons and spirits.

What does the Helenium flower symbolize?

In the flower world, the helenium flower’s meaning could be strength, resilience, and perseverance. The bright colors of the helenium symbolize the power of the sun, life, and beauty. 

The flower holds a strong meaning in Greek mythology, where the beautiful Helen of Troy was born from the tears of Zeus. The delicate and complex petals of the flower are symbolic of the strength of the female, born of the tears of the male.

In a spiritual sense, the helenium flower could mean tenderness and gentleness. Helenium flowers are found abundantly across gardens, prairies, and meadows. They bring cheer and joy to the garden in the spring. They are also a great attraction in the fall when their colors change to beautiful shades of orange and yellow.

In a spiritual sense, the helenium flower’s meaning could be grace. The flower symbolizes grace as it is a gift that can calm or help a storm.

Helenium flower meaning could be serenity, implying that you can calm and soothe. The flower’s name may inspire feelings of serenity and abundance. People connected to it feel a sense of serenity in their hearts.

All in all, the helenium flower symbolic meanings are:

  • tenderness 
  • grace
  • power
  • serenity

Meaning of the Helenium flower colors

Yellow color

Yellow symbolizes the sun—a new day, a new dawn. Hope & faith are yellow helenium flower meanings. They are the precursors of something new entering your life. Gift yellow helenium flowers to someone who needs a new start. It will give them a sense of hope and faith.

Red color

Red symbolizes power; it helps you stand strong in adversity. Confidence and conviction are red helenium flower meanings. It’s the color of courage and strength. Gift it to someone uncertain about something to give them the courage to face life confidently.

Orange color

Orange symbolizes fire; it helps you be more daring. It can also symbolize warmth and passion. Love is orange helenium flower meaning. It’s the color of the heart. Gift it to someone who is in despair. It will give them a sense of warmth and affection.

Copper gold color

Gold symbolizes wealth—love & friendship are gold helenium flower meanings. It’s the color of happiness. You are attracted to this color, and it can help you feel relaxed and at peace during times of stress. It’s the color of wealth and prosperity. Give it to someone who needs support and companionship.

Interesting facts about the Helenium flowers

  • The genus Helenium has more than 40 species of annuals and perennials native to the Americas.
  • Helenium is also known by other names- Sneezeweed & Helen’s Flower
  • The plant produces lush velvet-textured flowers in an abundance of yellow, orange, red, and golden hues.
  • Looks like this commonly found flower is not so common after all. It is currently listed as an ‘endemic federally protected species under the 1973 Endangered Species Act.
  • They are called ‘late bloomers’ as they bloom in the late summer and early autumn.
  • The flower is renowned for having anti-inflammatory & antiparasitic properties.
  • Its astringent and diaphoretic properties make it useful in treating skin ailments.

How to grow Helenium flowers

Heleniums, with their vibrant orange, red, and yellow flowers, is a delightful addition to the garden border.

  1. Plant the heleniums in moisture-retaining soil.
  2. Place them in a spot where they receive at least six hours of sunlight daily.
  3. Water new bulbs till they have established themselves.
  4. Add a continuous feed release.
  5. Add a layer of mulch, being careful not to put it too close to the stem, to keep moisture in and weeds at bay.

How to care for Helenium flowers

  1. In dry situations, water the heleniums thoroughly because they dislike being dry.
  2. Mulch with well-rotted organic matter in the spring to increase water retention and keep the roots cool.
  3. In the spring, fertilize with blood, fish, and bone.
  4. Throughout the year, deadhead the flowers to enhance prolonged blossoming times.
  5. In the spring, remove the previous year’s stems. 
  6. Divide and replant every three years.

Best time to gift Helenium flowers

The flowers are at their best bloom in October. These flowers make a wonderful gift for the person you are giving it to. The best time to give someone helenium flowers is in autumn and early winter.


Helenium is a long-lasting cut flower that is excellent as a filler. Just a few stems can give bouquets pleasing depth. The warm hue tones are particularly appealing for autumn designs. It’s hard to think that helenium flowers are thought to represent “tears” because they’re so brilliant and joyful.

They are versatile flowers that look equally at home in formal, sophisticated arrangements as in a traditional garden-style bouquet. A wonderful way to add fullness and color to your arrangement.

If you want to know and learn more about flowers, we at PansyMaiden can help you. Check out our fun, easy-to-read, and informative flower-related content that you will surely enjoy!