Helianthus – Perennial Sunflower
These bold perennials are so diverse in their habits that it is hoped that the reader will not come to them with prejudice ‘ because some of its relatives are coarse and grasping in nature. Some of the sorts are actually dainty. All the sorts are tones of golden yellow and they are usually tall growers. Of the many sorts, we shall mention a few of the best. Helianthus Maximilianii is perhaps the tallest one, growing 8 feet and sometimes more if the conditions are favorable. It is the last one to bloom, flowering as it does in October. Its long stalks are -full of small golden yellow flowers.
H. orgyalis is sometimes called the Graceful Sunflower because of its Barrow foliage which droops. It has single, lemon-yellow flowers and is another very tall grower.
H. mollis, or the Hairy Sunflower, grows 4 feet tall and has grayish, downy, green leaves, dark stems and pale yellow flowers with dark centers. H. scaberrimus (Woolly Dod) blooms in September and has deep yellow flowers with maroon centers. H. decapetalus or H. mulliflorus isone of the most profuse bloomers and, when planted where it may be given a lot of room to spread, is one of the good species, but its powers of usurping garden space eliminates it from the more refined borders. The Autumn Glory (H. anguslifolius) has created some comment during the last year. The writer has not seen it but has heard that it is one of the most graceful small flowered sorts, that it makes a splendid addition to the small number of plants which bloom after frost.
UsEs. These are splendid to plant in the back rows of the border, in clumps on the lawn among shrubbery, or to naturalize in the wild flower gardens or along woodland paths. They combine attractively with hardy Asters. The flowers are cut and used for all kinds of decorative purposes.
GENERAL,. Because they grow so tall, they should be planted in places where the soil is not only rich, for they are great feeders, but also very deep. The soil should be manured well every season because the roots exhaust the soil of food materials very readily. They prefer open, sunny places to partially shady ones, although they like a moist soil. The plants require almost yearly transplantings.
PROPAGATION. Helianthus is readily propagated from cuttings or division of the root stocks.