Prettiest Native Sunflower

kelpSeptember 20, 2013

Which is the prettiest native sunflower? Tall is good. I live in southeastern MA, but it doesn't have to be native to the northeast, only be able to grow there. I saw a couple in High Country Gardens that I thought were pretty, (esp. Helianthus 'Dakota Sunshine'), but they say on their website that this area gets too much rain for that cultivar. I have clay soil, but can amend it with compost or sand if necessary. Thanks.

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lycopus(z5 NY)

My personal favorite is Helianthus mollis.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:55PM
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Helianthus atrorubens.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 8:05AM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

Maximilian sunflower (helianthus maximiliani) should grow in your area. A bit different than others in the way it flowers up the stem. Said to get up to 10 ft, but seems to stay in the 4 to 6 ft range in our area (north TX) and does well in clay. May need support depending upon location.

Here is a link that might be useful: Native sunflowers with MA distributions

This post was edited by bostedo on Sun, Sep 29, 13 at 21:31

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 12:47PM
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I like sawtooth sunflower-Helianthus grosseserratus- for a good, vigorous native sunflower. Truth is, it may be too vigorous in some settings. But a large expanse of this plant in bloom-like right now here in WI-is a sight to behold.

But your question is one of taste. I don't know what you like, so this is just one possibility.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 9:32AM
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dandy_line(3B (Brainerd, Mn))

H. paucifolia-stays small and doesn't colonize your garden and all the neighborhood around you, like some others we know.

A good way to keep the tall ones in check is to pretend you are buffalo and chop them down a couple times in the summer. By fall the 8 footers will flower about knee high.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 11:07PM
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Hi dandy line. I like H. pauciflorus-stiff sunflower-too, but it is also rhizomatous, and therefor capable of spreading clonally, and rapidly. It would be a better choice than grosseseratus for dry, upland sites, being better adapted to dry conditions.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 9:07AM
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I planted Helianthus argphyllus aka Silver Leaf Sunflower this spring. Its pretty. I only planted one to try it out but I'm going to save seeds. It is just now starting to make buds and its foliage is very pretty and fuzzy. I pulled this photo off google.

I look forward to seeing the Maximillians each fall on the roadsides but I don't have space for them. Its enough to enjoy seeing them in the wild by the hundreds.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 4:07PM
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This post was edited by NKUSigEp on Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 22:49

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 10:47PM
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