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Plants Online - Sunflower

Plants for sale - Sunflower

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SUNFLOWER

Family COMPOSITAE
Helianthus species
Perennial/Annual

The genus consists of about sixty species, mostly native to North America, and includes annual and perennial species.

Helianthus decapetalus, of variable height, has stems reaching from four to six feet, bearing flowers, three inches across, with light yellow ray petals. There are various double forms of garden origin, all more or less attractive.
Helianthus rigidus (syn. Helianthus scaberrimus) is one of the best perennial forms, reaching a height of three to six or more feet.
Helianthus orgyalis is a very distinct species, reaching a height of seven to eight feet, with stems eight to fourteen inches long, becoming branched at the top and bearing many medium-sized yellow flowers.
Helianthus multiflorus yellow, five feet tall, has nobler varieties in a double var. flore-pleno, and “Lodden Gold”, and a huge single-flowered var. maximus, five to six feet. Easily grown in any well-drained garden soil.

The common annual sunflower of English cottage gardens is Helianthus annuus, reaching up to ten feet. The seeds are used for poultry feed.

Propagation is by division in late winter.

The flowering season is from July to September.

Sunflower, Annual
Three to seven feet.
Flowers yellow, August and September.

The annual Sunflowers are like the perennial class, gross feeders and rapid growers; few plants make more vegetable tissue in a given time, and they require food and water in proportion.

Deep rich soil, with plenty of space for root and top alike, is necessary for fine specimens.
Sow the seed of all annual kinds in heat about the end of March, transplant once, six inches apart, and keep near the glass to prevent the stems being drawn up.
Harden and plant out singly, or in groups or lines at the back of mixed borders; water copiously in dry weather.
They should need no sticks or support if liberally treated and grown in an open exposure.
The best-known kind is the tall single Sunflower, with orange-yellow petals surrounding a disc of dark seed-florets a foot or more in diameter.
It is a noble plant when fully developed; the best strains flower freely from shoots at the axils of the leaf-stalks, inferior sorts exhaust themselves in one huge flower.
There is also a sort with petals of a pale lemon colour, sometimes called “Moonflower”, well worth growing; and also one with double flowers, filling up the seed-disc with close-set petals.
Next in order are dwarf strains, about three feet high, with double and semi-double flowers.
These are apt to look stubby; the best of the shorter sunflowers are Orion, deep yellow, single, about three inches in diameter, with petals rolled like those of a Cactus Dahlia; Stella, a miniature flower with flat yellow petals, and Diadem, resembling Orion, but pale primrose in colour.
All these have a very branching growth, and form open bushes about four feet high, bearing scores of blooms at once.
They require good rich soil and a sunny site, and should have water in droughty seasons.

All annual sunflowers should be cut down after the frosts have spoiled them, and the roots forked up without delay.
In mild neighbourhoods and kindly soil the seeds of annual sunflowers may be sown about an inch deep in the open ground in May, and the plants allowed to stand and flower where sown.

See Also : Helianthus

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