If you love sunflowers but find you can’t accommodate them because of their great height, this is a sunflower to consider. A perennial, it forms a compact clump of foliage about 12” tall. In fall, a mass of flower heads cover the plant with golden yellow “petals” around a brown central disc in typical sunflower style, but these flowers are only 2-2½” across. The leaves are narrow and proportionately smaller, but have the hairiness typical of their larger cousins. Birds love the seedheads.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Flower heads 2-2½” across consist of golden yellow ray flowers around a central brown disc are produced in fall; blooms last about five weeks in cool weather.

Foliage: Leaves are linear, 3” long, and hairy.

Size: 8-12” H x 16-20” W

Light: Full sun (shade results in less compact plants and fewer flowers)

Soil: Average, moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 6-9

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: None of importance but susceptible to rust, leaf fungal spots and powdery mildew. Caterpillars and beetles may damage the foliage.

Propagation: Division after flowering

Companion plants: Asters, chrysanthemums, ’Hameln’ fountain grass.

Plant profiles pointer

By Karen