September 25, 2009

Maximilian's Sunflowers

When the first tinge of orange appears on the scrub oaks, the Mexican sunflowers (a/k/a Maximilian['s] sunflower—Helianthus maximiliani) are blooming. They are a New World plant, although not native this far north, where they need extra water, especially in early summer.

In moister climates they can be invasive—not a problem here.

Other than that, and an occasional infestation of stink bugs, they are a bulletproof perennial, which is what I like. At our house they start blooming about the second week of September, just when everything else has pretty much finished, even the wild Liatrus.

1 comment:

Mark Churchill said...

We've always had volunteer annual sunflower in our prairie garden, but this year we seeded some Maximilians and we're happy to have them blooming in their first year. Should keep our goldfinches (Susan saw a fledgling being fed this morning) going even after the annuals have been picked clean...