HARDY PERENNIALS: HELIOPSIS

These are fairly closely related to Helianthus, but though yellow is their only colour, there are variations in both theme and form. For trouble freedom they rank highly, as they do for their long flowering qualities. Their only basic need is for a reasonably good soil, regardless of being heavy, light, acid or alkaline, and not to be deprived of some moisture in summer. Roots are very fibrous, with no rapid or nuisance spread and they can be safely divided in autumn or spring.

The first almost double to be introduced was H. ‘’ Incomparabilis’, with its overlapping petals, it has some resemblance to Zinnia. The leaves are oval and saw edged, and the flowering stems very branching to give a bushy type growth by early July, 3 feet high, when the first flowers open. From then on, they come non-stop until well into September. H. ‘Golden Plume’ is one of the many new varieties raised by Karl Foerster in Germany, and this too, is almost double flowered at 3J/2 feet. H. ‘Ballerina’ is a warm yellow, with less of a double formation and H. patula is purely single, as is the taller 4 feet H. gigantea. H. ‘Goldgreenheart’ has a curiously attractive green tinge towards the centre of the otherwise near double flowers of a lighter yellow shade. Although Heliopsis are amongst the subjects that help to make yellow the predominant colour amongst perennials in late summer, they would be amongst the last I would dispense with in the unlikely event of my deciding to cut down on yellows for I rate them very highly in excellence.

HELIOPSIS 'Golden Plume'

HELIOPSIS ‘Golden Plume’

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