HARDY PERENNIALS: HELIANTHUS

The name literally translated from the Greek, means ‘Sun Flower’, but the perennial kinds have little resemblance to the rather grotesque annual species. There are some perennial kinds which are very weedy, spreading quickly below ground, and sending up stems 5-6 feet high with single yellow flowers on top. These are simply not worth growing and are a menace amongst better subjects. It is far better to fork them out and insert in the compact rooted kinds, which include double flowered varieties and have a much neater, though still robust, bushy habit. The 5 feet H. ‘Loddon Gold’ is a fine double variety with flowers up to 4 inches across, covering the plant on short stems. H. ‘Triomphe de Gand’ is semi double, of similar height, and of a similar rich yellow colour. It is a finer plant than any of the purely single flowered varieties and to be correct, it should be described as Anemone centred rather than semi double. Helianthus are easy in any ordinary soil, but do respond to reasonably good treatment such as an occasional mulch. Division is best in spring, but some thinning out should take place rather than allow overcrowding to spoil them.

HELIANTHUS multiflorus 'Loddon Gold'

HELIANTHUS multiflorus ‘Loddon Gold’

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