Branching sunflower

Helianthus debilis

Helianthus debilis 'Key Lime Pie'
Photo/Illustration: 
Courtesy of Thompson & Morgan Seedsmen, Inc.
Helianthus debilis 'Italian White'
Photo/Illustration: 
Courtesy of Park Seed
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Branching sunflower (Helianthus debilis)
Genus:  Helianthus
These branching plants with thick stems and glossy mid-green leaves grow 5 to 6 feet tall. Slightly nodding flowerheads 2.5 inches or more across appear in summer. Bright yellow ray florets are sometimes flushed with red or purple-red disk florets.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Cultivars include ‘Italian White’, a graceful plant with 4-inch ivory-white daisies shading to buttery cream near their striking black centers; ‘Lemon Queen’, a pale yellow cultivar accented by a large brown center; ‘Velvet Queen’, well branched from a strong stalk, with dark burgundy petals and a black central disk; ‘Sole d’Oro’, a double-flowering form with a fluffy butter-yellow head; and ‘Stella’, a branching plant with golden petals and a maroon center.
Care:  Tall cultivars may require support. Needs long, hot summers to flower well. Grow in moist but well-drained, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil.
Propagation:  Sow seed in situ in spring or in pots in late winter.
Problems:  Downy mildew, powdery mildew, canker, rust, and many fungal leaf spots are common. Also susceptible to damage from caterpillars, cutworms, beetles, and weevils.

Overview

Height
3 ft. to 6 ft.
Spread
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Light
Full Sun Only
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Characteristics
Attracts Birds,
Native,
Showy Flowers
Bloom Time
Summer
Flower Color
White Flower,
Yellow Flower
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Cut Flower
Seasonal Interest
Summer Interest
Type
Annuals

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