HELIANTHUS or SUNFLOWER

There are both annual and perennial types, all easy to grow in a sunny open position. Helianthus annuus is the well-known giant sunflower which may grow as tall as 10 ft. on really fertile soil. It only needs the ordinary hardy annual treatment, but should be thinned to not less than 1 ft. apart. There are other varieties, e.g. Mars and Southern gross, which grow to only 4 or 5 ft.

The perennial sunflowers include Loddon Gold, rich yellow with double, more or less quilled petals and growing to 6 ft. Monarch (also yellow) is even taller (7 ft. and more) with single blooms 6 in. across and with small black centres. The old flowering stem dies and new shoots appear about 1 ft. away. They should be replanted in early April. On heavy, wet soils this variety may fail to survive the winter, but it can easily be lifted and kept in a cold frame until the following spring.

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