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Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty'

Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’

As summer reaches its peak through July a vast array of perennials bursts into bloom making a dazzling display in the garden. Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty' is a great example of such a perennial and it is used at RHS Garden Hyde Hall in mixed borders, for example around the Lower Pond, where its rusty orange/red flowers open above its fresh green foliage, creating a stunning effect. Helenium is particularly effective where it is planted in large drifts and combined with other perennials and grasses that intermingle in a naturalistic scheme.

Vital statistics

Common name
Sneezeweed ‘Moerheim Beauty’
Family
Asteraceae
Height & spread
95-130cm (38-51in) high 40cm (16in) wide
Form
Herbaceous perennial
Soil
Fertile, moist soil
Aspect
Full sun
Hardiness
Fully hardy

Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty'

A genus of about 40 species of annuals, biennials and perennials found in damp, swampy meadows or at woodland margins in North and Central America. They are mostly clump-forming plants with erect, branching stems and mid-green leaves.

The daisy-like flowerheads have prominent yellow or brown disc-florets and ray-florets in yellow, bronze, orange or red. Heleniums flower over a long period and are suitable for a sunny, mixed, or herbaceous border.

The flowerheads are good for cutting and attractive to bees. All parts may cause severe discomfort if ingested; contact with the foliage may aggravate skin allergies.

Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty'

Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty' is an upright perennial with dark-centred, coppery-red flower-heads 6-8cm (2-3in) across in summer. It has strongly reflexed outer petals (rays), dark red on the underside, with a brown centre to the flower head.

It is popular for its very long flowering period, June to October, if regularly dead-headed and cut back in late summer.

It makes a great feature in planting schemes on a pinkish-red or orange-red theme for summer to autumn, or consider contrasting it with blues of agapanthus and aconitum. It also makes a good cut flower.

It was hybridized by Messrs B. Ruys, Royal Moerheim Nurseries, The Netherlands in 1930.

It is one of the plants recommended on the RHS Perfect for Pollinators list.

Cultivation

  • Requires a bright sunny position; looks especially radiant in afternoon sun.
  • Performs best when well supported.
  • It is relatively drought tolerant, but in very dry soils it may need additional watering.
  • Deadhead to prolong flowering. After flowering ends, cut back stems.
  • Pests – young foliage is prone to attack from slugs and snails.
  • Disease – viruses cause stunting and distortion of leaves and flowers. Destroy any affected plants immediately.

Propagation

  • Sow seeds in a cold frame in early spring.
  • Divide clumps in spring taking outer shoots.
  • Take basal cuttings in spring.
  • Won’t come true from seed.

AGM

The RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee awarded Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty' an Award of Garden Merit with the description:

'Height 1.3m. Excellent. Long flowering period. Uniform rich dark orange-red flowers surrounding dark brown eye. Ray florets strongly reflexed.'

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