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Herbaceous Perennial

Helianthus × laetiflorus
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

showy sunflower

Helianthus x laetiflorus is a rhizomatous, clump-forming perennial to 2m tall with dark green, narrowly-ovate and toothed leaves. Bright yellow flowerheads with dark centres,10-12cm in diameter,are borne from late summer into autumn

Other common names
perennial sunflower
prairie sunflower
see morerough-leaved sunflower
stiff sunflower
Synonyms
Helianthus scaberrimus
Helianthus rigidus misapplied

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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Yellow Green
Autumn Yellow Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Asteraceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Helianthus can be tall, erect annuals, tuberous or rhizomatous perennials, with coarse simple leaves and large daisy-like flower-heads

Name status

Correct

How to grow

Cultivation

Requires a moderately fertile, moist but well-drained, alkaline to neutral soil in full sun

Propagation

Propagate by seed in the spring. Divide established clumps every 2-4 years to both increase plants and retain vigour

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Cut back old stems after flowering as they die down for the winter

Pests

Susceptible to slugs

Diseases

Powdery mildews and sclerotinia diseases may be a problem

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