Helianthus

Sunflower

The sunflower was once an emblem of the Sun God of the Incas. This well-loved genus is 150 species strong and includes not only sprightly garden plants but commercially important food and oil crops.

Our easy-to-grow selections tolerate a wide range of garden soils, attract bees, and make great cut flowers.

A cheerful mop of clustered golden yellow daisies crest towering, 6 ft. tall valiant stems guised with leathery needle-like rich green leaves. One of the last perennial Sunflowers to bloom, this striking American native flaunts copious large flowers, each defined by nearly 15 sun-stained petals encompassing a purplish brown cone. Hard to miss, even from a distance, the Swamp Sunflower’s brilliant persona can grace the perennial border, stylized meadow or butterfly garden, where it grows well among Asters and Schizachyrium, wards off deer and relishes sunny moist niches, but acquiesces to other conditions.

Blooms September-October

Size: 6' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Rugged, slender and deep green, ‘Gold Lace’s fine textured leaves and strong stems frame a verdant lacy tower all season long. Magnificent, 2 in. wide golden yellow flowers burst open in such bold profusion that this undemanding U.S. native becomes the star of the late summer border, headlining an unbeatable grand finale. Adored by butterflies, gardeners and florists, ‘Gold Lace’ thwarts bunnies and dry conditions once established, doesn’t require staking or much fertilizer and looks absolutely sublime accompanying Asters and Molinias.

Blooms late September–October.

Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

Originally discovered as a chance seedling at Matanzas Creek Winery in northern California and visible from literally ½ mile away, abundant pale yellow flowers cover the upper third of this extravagant perennial. Ours bask in their glory near the pond, along with other late bloomers like Salvia corrugata and Miscanthus ‘Adagio’.

Blooms September–early November.

Size: 7' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

Noted horticulturist, David Salman from High Country Gardens kindly sent us this dazzling Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ and Helianthus maximiliana ‘Dakota Sunshine’ cross selected from seedlings originating at Lauren Springer and Scott Ogden’s Colorado residence. A vigorous selection for regions with short growing seasons, ‘Dakota Queen’ releases a buoyant flood of bright yellow daisies that crown tall stocky reddish stems clad in rough deep green linear leaves. Blooming by the middle of August, far earlier than most maximiliana species, its regal texture-rich visage is tough, reliable and capable of handling clay soil.

Blooms mid-August–early October.

Size: 5' 0" – 6' 0" high x 3' 0" – 5' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Late blooming pastel yellow flowers gaze down at onlookers from atop lofty, sturdy stems. Combine with Buddleja ‘Ellen’s Blue’, Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ and tall, late Asters in the rear of the border.

Blooms early August – October

Size: 6' 0" – 10' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

A celebrated American denizen often found in open woodlands, prairies and along roadsides, this Sunflower’s ebullient yellow face belies its resilient nature. The dense colony of upright wine-hued stems and rough lanceolate leaves can handle neglect, drought, and sun or shade.

Enticing to bees, butterflies, and gardeners alike, yellow 2 in. wide, broad-petaled and brown-centered blooms burst forth from round, spiky-looking green buds. Even though the long lasting jaunty display signals summer’s end, the good-sized chocolate-colored seed heads keep the birds happy and our interest sparked.

Blooms August–October.

Size: 5' 0" – 6' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

Helianthus laetiflorus ‘Lemon Queen’ (P-0535)

Each $7.75

AVAILABLE SPRING 2019

<i>Helianthus laetiflorus</i> ‘Lemon Queen’

‘Lemon Queen’s cloud of citrus-yellow daisies will quench your thirst for color and cheer, while robust columns of deep green foliage make a strong architectural statement in the border or a meadow planting.

Blooms August–October

Size: 7' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

As summer fades into fall, this native New Mexican sunflower bursts into abundant bloom with gorgeous large, golden yellow flowers. Dark green, long and narrow pointed leaves create an eye-catching colonnade several months before the top half of each red-tinged, sturdy stem gives way to closely arranged, fulgent daisies. Putting on one of the latest and unequivocally finest autumn displays, regal ‘Santa Fe’ stands in sharp relief to the violet-hued Aconitums in our border.

Blooms September–October

Size: 6' 0" – 8' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Helianthus</i> x <i>multiflorus</i> ‘Capenoch Star’

Touted as one of the best late flowering perennials and considered a shining star amongst other Helianthus, ‘Capenoch Star’ headlines big-centered, large lemon- yellow blooms borne in cheerful abundance. Tidy forest green leaves bolster the sunny display, which bears some semblance to its annual cousin and looks positively radiant with a sweep of frothy white Persicaria polymorpha and Salvia ‘Blue Ensign’ in Great Dixter’s long border.

Blooms August – October.

Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Helianthus 'Sheila's Sunshine', Persicaria 'Summer Dance', and Selinum wallichianum

Helianthus ‘Sheila’s Sunshine - P-0461

The sunflower was once an emblem of the Sun God of the Incas. Our sunflowers tolerate a wide range of garden soils, attract bees, and make great cut flowers. Blooms early August – October.

Persicaria ‘Summer Dance’ - P-1312

With foliage that’s close to lime-green, and spiky floral tails that approach the scarlet spectrum of rosy pink, this slow spreading perennial is sure to please. Happiest in semishade with ample moisture. Blooms August–November.

Selinum wallichianum - P-1406

This refined Himalayan beauty happens to be one of our favorite perennial umbellifers. With untold elegance, infinitely divided leaves craft a delicate, lacelike transparency. The compact yet airy green canopy is framed by distinctive, purple-infused branching stems that elevate a charming, late season display of white flattened umbels.

Subduing the riotous array of summertime blooms, it seldom needs staking, and appreciates a well draining moist niche. Blooms June–August.

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