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Heliopsis helianthoides

Heliopsis helianthoides
false sunflower

Common name false sunflower
Family asteraceae
Life cycle perennial
Flowers yellow (summer)
Size 5 ft
Light full sun
Cultural notes drought tolerant once established
From seed germinate at room temperature, don't exclude light
detailed seed-starting info below
Seed ripenslate October

Nice taller plant for the sunny summer garden. Lots of golden 3" flowers on an upright bushy plant. US prairie native.

Heliopsis helianthoides
false sunflower
Lorraine Sunshine
The variety 'Lorraine Sunshine' is so completely different that I may give it its own page at some point. It gets mixed reviews from fellow gardeners; I haven't observed it for long enough yet to have an opinion. Its standout feature is striking leaf variegation, with dark green veins on an off-white background. We grew ours from a batch of traded seed; only some of the seedlings displayed the variegation, and even those may not be the same as the real cultivated variety - but I bet they're close. The whole plant is much less vigorous than its wild brother. Even as seedlings, they were weaklings, succumbing much more quickly to drought than the plain-leaved ones arising from the same seed lot. Now in their second summer, our two surviving plants have not grown taller than about a foot, while just a few feet further on, the species is already at three feet tall and still going. All of which isn't good or bad - it's just a different plant that will need different conditions and placement to bring out its best.

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

Seed for this plant is included on my seed trade list

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PlantLinks to other web pages about Heliopsis helianthoides

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '00 garden. Baggy 70F (5%G, 10d)
  2. Seed from '01 garden. Baggy 70F with light (35%G, 4-7d)
  3. Seed from '03 garden. Baggy 70F with light (60%G, 6-14d)
  4. Seed for 'Loraine Sunshine' from '05 trade. Baggy 70F (78%G, 4-9d)
  5. Same seed as above. Lots of seed to pot at 70F, plenty germinated by 7d
  6. Seed from '09 garden. Baggy 70F (27%G, 6-11d)
  7. Seed from '09 garden. Baggy 70F (20%G, 5-19d). A brief excursion to warmer temperature resulted in a flush of germination upon returning to cooler conditions

Light is helpful. So is selecting the plumpest seeds you can find.

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